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Ticket - Pro Conscription Demonstration, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 10 Dec 1917 Object Reg. No: HT 26589

'C' reserve ticket for a pro conscription demonstration held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Monday 10 December 1917 at 8 pm. Authorised by James Hume Cook, Federation and General Secretary, the ticket was printed by G.A. Green.

The Brisbane Courier described the demonstration the next day in glowing terms:

'The largest conscription meeting ever held in Australia and the biggest held in any place in the Commonwealth, took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to-night. It was arranged by the Reinforcements Referendum Council, and war known as the 100,000 meeting, but even the most optimistic of the promoters could have hardly expected such a tremendous gathering. There were well over 100,000 persons present. Two hours before the meeting began there must have been 40,000 people in the stands and in the arena, and the attendance rapidly increased, until the 100,000 mark was passed. An elaborate programme had been arranged for, in addition to the speeches. There were several bands and choirs, and cinematograph pictures, giving details in concise form of the Government's proposals and reasons why they should be supported, and also statements of the world's leading me. The demonstration was marred to a certain extent by a comparatively small, but very noisy and rowdy section, who threw stones and green peaches at the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes). Beside Mr. Hughes, the speakers included the Premier of New South Wales (Mr. Holman), the Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Councillor Stapley), Sir Alex Peacock, and several members of the Federal Parliament. Four platforms were erected in the arena, and addresses were delivered by Mr. Hughes and two or three other speakers at each platform.' (11 December 1917).

In 1916 the Australian Government, under Prime Minister Hughes, called for conscription of Australian men as voluntary recruiting did not seem to be producing sufficient numbers to supply the front line. Popular votes were held in 1916 and 1917 on the issue of conscription, which caused great divisions in Australian society and the Australian government. Both votes were defeated and conscription did not occur.
Red coloured card printed with black text on the obverse and a map of the MCG on the reverse.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 62 mm (Height), 106 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: world war i 1914-1918, conscription, tickets, political rallies
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Conscription, World War I, 1914-1918
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: POLITICS & PUBLIC PROTEST
Secondary Classification: World War I
Tertiary Classification: conscription
Inscriptions: Printed on obverse: PATRIOTIC 'YES' DEMONSTRATION/ THE "100,000 MEETING"/ Monday, 10th December, 1917, at 8 p.m./ MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND/ No admission except by ticket It must be retained by the holder/ This ticket must be shown at gate It must be produced on request/ See plan of ground, showing entrance, on back hereof/ ADMIT TO "C" RESERVE/ Authorised by J. Hume Cook, Gen. Sec. G.A. Green, Printer
Authorised By: James Cook, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1917
Printer: G.A. Green, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1917
References: THE REFERENDUM. MAGNIFICENT DEMONSTRATION. (1917, December 11). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 7. Retrieved June 13, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20202005

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