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Wednesday, 27 May 1914

Senator MILLEN - The answer is -

There is no " regulation," but Commonwealth Military Standing Order 22 provides that any annual confidential reports of commanding officers upon permanent officers under their command, which adversely reflect upon the officer concerned, are to be read verbatim to him by the officer making the report.

The standing order referred to reads as follows : - "When, however, the officer who, in accordance with paragraph 16, first renders the report, considers it necessary to record any fault which affects an officer's character as an officer and a gentleman, or his fitness for his present position, or for promotion to a higher one, the particulars of the adverse report are to be read verbatim to him by the officer making it, in the presence, when possible, of the second in command of the corps, and when this is not possible, by letter. A note will be made in the report that these instructions have been duly attended to, or an explanation furnished when they have not been carried out. If the result of the report is considered by the Military Board to prejudice the officer's chances of further promotion, he will be so informed."

The instructions printed on the form (CM. Form A.26), upon which annual confidential reports on all officers, whether permanent or militia, are rendered, provides that : - " If any thing disadvantageous be recorded by commanding officer, or if any of the questions cannot be answered satisfactorily, the particulars are to be communicated to the officer verbatim, as recorded on the report, and a note that this has been done is to be made on this report."

It is the invariable rule of the Department to insist on the observance of these instructions.

I should like to add that I am causing a copy of that form to be forwarded to the honorable senator.

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