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Thursday, 21 June 1906

Mr EWING (Richmond) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I can furnish an answer to the question of the honorable member with reference to the statement alleged to have been made byColonel Riccardo, the District Commandant for Victoria, to the effect that he was first of all the servant of the State, and, secondly, the servant of the Commonwealth. The Minister of Defence informs me that having seen the report of Colonel Riccardo's remarks, he asked for an explanation. Colonel Riccardo stated in general terms that he never intended to say anything of the kind, and that he must have been misunderstood. The Minister was not satisfield with this, and asked Colonel Riccardo to definitely state whether or not he made the statements attributed to him. He then received from Coloned Riccardo a definite denial that he had made the statements.

Mr PAGE (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - Several gentlemen told me that he did make the remarks attributed to him.

Mr EWING - I am only indicating what the papers disclose.

Mr Page - What about an inquiry?

Mr EWING - I trust that the honorable member will not suggest anything of the kind.

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