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Wednesday, 10 June 1914

Senator RAE - Has the attention of the Minister of Defence been drawn to the case of a lad named Roberts, who refused drill at the command of his parents, they being members of the Society of Friends? Is he aware that this lad was tried by the civil authority and sentenced to detention, and that, subsequently, he was again tried for the same offence by a court-martial, and sentenced to solitary confinement for one week at Swan Island, commencing last Saturday? Is the Minister carrying out the Defence Act in permitting any trainee guilty of an offence to be subjected to the barbarous punishment of solitary confinement? If not, what steps does he intend to take to abolish this atrocious practice, which, even in dealing with criminals, has been abandoned in most of the States?

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