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Tuesday, 24 July 1906

Mr EWING (Richmond) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - The honorable member for Melbourne Ports was good enough to inform the Prime Minister that he intended to bring this matter forward, and the latter has caused certain 'inquiries to be made. I shall read a copy of a memorandum from the Commandant in reference to inquiries, regarding the circular issued at Queenscliff by the Commanding Officer of theRoyal Australian Artillery, Victoria, to officers commanding district. It reads as follows: -

The Commanding Officer R.A.A. stated in answer to a telephone message that the circular was issued by his authority, and on his own responsibility, as he had been informed that the warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of his command were greatly -surprised at the proposal, to abolish all military canteens, and that, before approaching the Commandant on the matter, desired to know the feelings of the members of his command regarding such canteens.

The copy of the circular is similar to that referred to by the honorable member. The steps that have been taken, however, are likely to be satisfactory to the House. The Minister of Defence has issued instructions that no further action is to be taken in this matter by the Commanding Officer, Royal Australian Artillery, Victoria, and has directed that the Commandant shall supply a full report regarding it.

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