Vanguard December 1915

On outrages by Australian troops,
a Parliamentary exchange 12 November

Source: reprinted without comment in Vanguard, December 1915, p. 8;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

Mr. GINNELL had placed upon the Order Paper a question addressed to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs asking whether he could state the number of outrages and offences committed by Australian forces upon Egyptians since the outbreak of war; whether instructions had been given not to record or report them; and if reported, by whom, and when the report would be available. When the hon. member rose to put the question,

Mr. C. WASON (Orkney and Shetland, L.,) said: – Before this question is answered, may I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether there is any possibility of the hon. member being compelled to produce some proof of these mischievous and unfounded allegations.

The SPEAKER. – I am afraid I have no authority to call upon hon members to produce evidence on matters which they include in their questions. The Hon, member must be responsible for what he puts in the question.

Mr LEIF JONES (Rushcliffe, L.). Does not an hon. member make himself personally responsible for any statement he puts in a question?

The SPEAKER. That is so.

Mr. GINNELL. – Does the right hon. gentleman desire the evidence upon which this question is based The right hon. gentleman has not answered the question on the paper.

SIR E. GREY. – I have received no official information of any such outrages having been committed in Egypt. (Cheers.)

Mr. GINNELL. – Does the right hon. gentleman desire to see the evidence upon which the question is based?

An Hon, Member. – Publish it.

London “Times,” November 12th

Note by transcriber, Ted Crawford. There were two riots, First Wassa, 2 April 1915, the appellation given to the first of two unheroic riots in the Haret el Wassa (the brothel quarter of Cairo, Egypt) involving troops from Australia and New Zealand. Second Wassa, the second riotous outbreak in the Haret el Wassa (the brothel quarter of Cairo, Egypt), occurred on 31 July 1915 just before the troops departure for Gallipoli.