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I would be in parliament until after four, and would have to rush to get back to the electorate in time.   "Don't worry Love," the secretary told Donna, "as long as Alan gets there by eight.   That's when they sit down to dinner...Remind him to have a speech ready"

        We worked out a speech about increased repatriation benefits--It was ALP policy to increase the quality of welfair services given to old soldiers, according to the information we were given by Senator Sibraa's office.   This seemed fairly safe territory to explore with such an audience.

        I duly arrived at the Harbord Diggers Club about eight, to find the old soliders about to sit down for their meal.   They were the same friendly, boozy mob who could be seen leaning on the club bar almost every night of the week.

         I was ushered to a place of honour at the top table, and told to tuck into my meal.

         "Afterwards you can say a few words to the boys--If you want to", suggested their jovial president.

         I consumed chicken and green peas, covered in gravy and washed down by several glasses of Reschs Pilsener.   This was followed by apple pie with custard.

         Looking around the room, I began to understand the purpose ot the meeting.   The office bearers had long since been re-elected unopposed.   For the last three

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