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Thursday, 26 November 1914

Senator READY (Tasmania) .- I hope that the Committee will accept the suggestion of the Minister of Defence in dealing with this matter. My experience is the same as that of Senator Bakhap. The only complaints I have received from rural districts in Tasmania is that boys in that district are not being trained. I agree with Senators Needham and de Largie that we should have a greater number of training areas. Every facility should be given to our boys to undergo training. I have in mind the flourishing district of St. Helens, on the east coat of Tasmania. Residents of that district have repeatedly made representations to the military authorities, through me, to secure the establishment of a training area. The boys there are very anxious to be 'trained, and regard it as a slight that provision is not made for their training. The last offer I conveyed on behalf of the residents of that district to the Minister of Defence was an offer by a retired sergeant-major of the Imperial Forces resident there to undertake the training of the boys at a reduced cost to the Department, inasmuch as he would not require very heavy payment for his services. That offer was not availed of by the Department, because the area was too small, and did not include the requisite number of boys for the purposes of a training centre. But if the area were reduced, as some honorablesenators have suggested, it would mean that the boys in this district would haveto wait still longer to secure any training.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 14 and 15, and title, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments.

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