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Tuesday, 15 December 1914

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - A report has been received from Colonel Holmes, the Administrator in German New Guinea. The circumstances of the case are that a number of Germans in one of the islands there seized the Rev. Mr. Cox, a missionary. One man held Mr. Cox while the others flogged him with a malacca cane, each administering so many strokes. A complaint was made to the Administrator, who sent down a party to arrest t'ne Germans. Some of the Germans were arrested, and one escaped. After an inquiry was held the Court ordered the men to receive the same number of strokes as had been given to the missionary.

Senator Millen - What Court?

Senator PEARCE - The Court of Inquiry appointed by the Administrator.

Senator Millen - That is to Bay, a number of military officers?

Senator PEARCE - Yes; the Court ordered that the Germans who took part in the flogging of the missionary should receivethe same number of strokes with a malacca cane as they had given to him. That was approved by the Administrator.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Is that a recognised form of punish - ment under a Military Court for any offence which is committed ?

Senator PEARCE - No.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Has it no restrictions?

Senator PEARCE - It is a breach of the civil law, and in dealing with a breach of the civil law a MilitaryCourt hasthe power to order a flogging if it sees fit. In this case themembers of the Court took upon themselves that power. I cannot give a legal opinion as to whether they exceeded their power, but I will have the matter looked into.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - I suppose that they went on the principle of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," according tothe old Mosaic law?

Senator PEARCE - It was either yesterday afternoon or this morning that the despatch was received,but those are the circumstances as I remember them.

Senator Lynch - Was no interest added?

Senator PEARCE - No.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 11.1 p.m.

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