Since 'universal' was a misnomer, about half that number were exempted from training, or perhaps never registered, reducing the group to 175,000." There was also extensive opposition to boyhood conscription resulting in, by July 1915, some 34,000 prosecutions and 7,000 detentions of trainees, parents, employers or other persons required to register.
These men could serve only in Australia or its territories.
Conscription was effectively introduced in mid-1942, when all men 18–35, and single men aged 35–45, were required to join the Citizens Military Forces (CMF).
A second plebiscite was held on 20 December 1917 and defeated by a greater margin.
The question put to Australians was: "Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Commonwealth Forces overseas?
During the campaign, the restriction banning CMF personnel from serving outside of Australian territory hampered military planning and caused tensions between the AIF and CMF.