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Thursday, 19 November 1914

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I point out to Senator Mullan that if a Government raises an Expeditionary Force against the wishes of the people, Parliament, immediately it is called together, will have a very effective remedy. The first Supply Bill submitted must include votes to cover the expenditure upon the Expeditionary Force, and Parliament may Temove the Executive from office, or may refuse "to vote the necessary Supply . We could not include in this Bill any safeguards which would prevent the Executive from raising an Expeditionary Force if they considered it necessary, because the power is vested in the Executive to take action outside the law in time of war for the protection of the country.

Senator Mullan - If that be so, the amendment of the Act proposed by clause 7 of this Bill is unnecessary.

Senator PEARCE - It is not necessary, except for the purpose of- giving a legal status to the Expeditionary Forces that may be -raised. It is mot desirable that we should leave the status of such Forces in doubt. This provision will not induce a Government to exercise the power any more readily than they would exercise it without such a provision. They will, in any case, be responsible to the country and to Parliament, and if their action is not in accordance with the will of the people they may be -turned out or denied Supply to meet the expense of the Forces.

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