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Friday, 21 October 1910

Senator NEEDHAM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I desire to ask the Minister of Defence the following questions without notice: -

1.   Has he yet received any reply from the Premier of Western Australia, re the dismissal of Warder Wise?

2.   If so, what is the nature of the reply?

3.   Has his attention been directed to the following telegram from Perth in this morning's Age . -

In the Legislative Council the case of J. Wise, whose dismissal from his post as warder at Fremantle gaol was discussed in the Senate on Wednesday, was brought up by Mr. Kirwan.

The Colonial Secretary said, in reply, that the exigencies of the prison service necessitated the Controller-General requesting the resignations from the defence forces of two warders in Fremantle, as their military duties interfered with their duties as warders. One sent in his resignation, but the other warder (Wise) persisted in refusing, though warned of the consequence. The action of Government servants in joining the militia and volunteer forces met with the approval of the Ministry, provided the military service did not interfere with their duty in the departments. The Commonweal th Government recognised the difficulties attending the matter, and the Amending Defence Bill provided for exemption from service of persons employed in the police and prison service.

4.   Will the Minister again communicate with the Premier and Colonial Secretary of Western Australia, pointing out that the exemption is only in time of war, with a view of securing the reinstatement of Warder Wise?

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