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Friday, 21 October 1910

Senator PEARCE - Yesterday evening I received from the Premier of Western Australia the following reply : -

Regret delay replying your telegram thirteenth. Warder Wise was requested to resign military forces as duties interfered with prison duties. State Commandant was consulted and agreed without hesitation to grant free discharge, recognising nature of two duties must clash - see section 7, amendment Defence Act. Wise was warned of consequences, but persisted in refusing, and was dismissed for disobedience of orders Controller-General. In view of section referred to there appear to be no grounds for reconsideration.

Yesterday I instructed the Military Commandant of Western Australia by wire to report on the matter from his point of view. In regard to what Senator Needham has stated, it is perfectly correct, as I mentioned the other evening, that the section referred to does not exempt men from training, but exempts men from service in time of war.

Senator Millen - That applies to men under 26 years of age?

Senator PEARCE - Yes. I am making representations to the Government of Western Australia, and the point which Senator Needham mentioned will, together with others, be submitted for consideration.

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