Sunday, March 4, 2018

Motor Car for Recruiting

Clearly, by March 1918 it was getting harder to get new recruits and it was suggested to the local Council that they fund  a motor car so the recruiters could more easily get around to talk to possible recruits  and 'fetch them in straight away.  This report is from the  Dandenong Advertiser March 14, 1918. It is transcribed below but you can read it on-line on Trove,  here.

Motor Car for Recruiting
The Berwick Shire Council, at its meeting on Saturday last, received a letter from Lieut. Bolton, asking for assistance for the purchase of a motor car for recruiting. Also, the Dandenoig Shire intimated that it had contributed £20, and hoped Berwick Council would do likewise.

Sergt Coyle said there were 110 towns to be visited, and they desired the car to facilitate recruiting by enabling them to get from one town to the other in quicker time, instead of being held up waiting for trains. The Cranbourne Council had donated £15 and two of its members had each given £5. The car is to be sold afterwards and the money distributed pro-rata between the councils. With a car they could enlist recruits in the outlying places and fetch them in straight away. It would cost approximately £250. 

Cr Pearson said that he did not believe if 40 cars came to his riding it would assist recruiting. It might give the officers more pleasure and enable them to attend another meeting. Their roads were in a bad state of repair, but if the car would bring in recruits, this should be put aside, and he would be prepared to support contributing. If it assisted recruiting it would be nothing for the Government to contribute £200.

Cr Henty agreed that with a motor no more recruits would be obtained.

Cr Douglas: Even with 50 cars they would get no more recruits. Only a block and tackle would pull them in. 
The President said that if they thought it would be of use they were justified in contributing.

Cr Sharp: Why don't the Defence Department provide a car ?

Sergt Coyle said that during Lieut Mayes' time more recruits were gained than at any other, which put Flinders second on the list of country electorates. This was due to his having a motor cycle, which was paid for out of his own pocket.

On the motion of the President and Cr a'Beckett, the matter was postponed till after the recruiting conference at Dandenong, at which the President will attend, and bring up a report at next meeting.

What happened in the end? At the next meeting the motion to donate £15 was put to the Council, however the motion was lost. This is the report of the discussion from the Dandenong Advertiser of April 18. 1918. You can read it on-line on Trove,  here

Motor Car for Recruiting
At a meeting of the Berwick Shire Council on Saturday Cr Bailey moved that L15 be donated towards the purchase of a motor car for recruiting purposes in Flinders electorate. 

The Secretary said that Berwick and Wonthaggi were the only two shires in the electorate that had not contributed. 

Cr a'Beckett seconded the motion.

Cr C. Pearson thought a car would not be the means of bringing in more recruits, and did not think other recruiting sergeants had motor cars. He would vote against the motion. 

Cr J. B. Pearson said a car was of great convenience in recruiting, so he had been told by officers. 

Cr C. Pearson said that when Mr Gardiner was recruiting officer he got in touch with all eligibles in the shire without a car. 

Cr Stephenson said there were plenty of  places in the Shire where a car could not go, while with a horse there was little difficulty in getting access to any place. 

The motion was lost, Crs a'Beckett, Henty, Bailey and J B Pearson voting for it, and Crs Stephenson, Cunningham, Walsh, Dore, Douglas and C. Pearson against

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