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Wednesday, 18 November 1914

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) .- In reply to the question raised by Senator Keating, I wish to say that the AttorneyGeneral has promised, as soon as possible, to make a statement in regard to those firms whose premises were searched, and in which nothing of an incriminating nature was found. I understand that he has made a statement to-day, but I am not in possession of it. ' I will endeavour to get it by to-morrow, so as to be able to repeat it here for the information of honorable senators. Concerning the question raised by Senator Gould, I informed the Leader of the Opposition to-day that inquiry has been made from the Administrator of what was German. New Guinea, but we have not yet received a reply as to any appointments which have been made.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir AlbertGould. - My question was as to what arrangements have been made in regard to the ex-Governor of German New Guinea and the German officers who are in Sydney at the present time.

Senator PEARCE - The reply is that the position of the ex-Governor and the late officials of German New Guinea is determined, to some extent, by the terms of occupation granted to them by the military officer, Colonel Holmes. There are certain questions arising out of those terms which, to 'our mind, necessitate a reference to the British Government. We have referred those questions to the Imperial authorities by cable, but. we are not -yet in receipt of their reply. The matter raised by Senator Watson has been raised previously, and it has been found necessary to give the brigade-majors in districts in which there are night schools or technical classes power to adjust these matters. If he will suggest to the persons who have made representations to him that they should wait upon the officers in question, the difficulty may po* sibly be overcome. If that course fails, the matter can then be brought ' before Head-quarters, but trainees cannot be relieved of their obligation to drill. _ The same difficulty cropped up. earlier in the operation of our defence, scheme, and it was overcome by allowing trainees to perform their drill in the day time, or on nights on which they were not required to attend technical schools. But the Area Officers have full power to adjust these matters.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel O'Loghlin. - The amending Defence Bill will meet such cases.

Senator PEARCE - - No. I would suggest to Senator Watson that he should recommend those persons who have made representations to him on this matter to communicate with the local Area Officers to see if the difficulty cannot be overcome by them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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