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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The clause includes the following :'. - " ' Air Force Act ' means the Imperial Act called the Air Force Act and' any Acts amending or in substitution for it and for the time being in force." I am notaware that we have yet incorporated the Imperial AirForce Act, or that we shall do so.

Senator Pearce - No, but we have the same provision applying the Air Force Act to the Air Force in time of war as we have applying the Army Act to the Defence Force in time of war.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Air Defence Bill certainly proposes to do so, but that Bill has not yet passed the Senate.

Senator Pearce - I am not proposing to apply the Imperial Air Force Act to the Air Force in time of peace. That is quite consistent with the attitude the Government have taken up all along.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) -I am not yet convinced that the Imperial Air Force Act should be applied in time of war, because Australia is a continent, and the United Kingdom, geographically, is only a small country. So far as I am concerned, the matter needs discussion. It does not require much imagination to foresee that an Air Force Act for the defence of a continent like Australia, ringed by an ocean, will need to be different in many essential details from an Act which is required only for the defence of a country of 100,000 or 125,000 square miles in extent. We have todeal with 3,000,000 square miles in our aerial defence. I take it thatthe Minister will so frame this definition clause as to make it consistent with whatever' the Senate does with the Air. Defence Bill:

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