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Friday, 30 April 1915

The CHAIRMAN - I must remind the honorable senator that he is not really bringing up any matter connected with the amendment.

Senator McDOUGALL - I bow to your ruling, Mr. Chairman, and might add that I really expected you to intimate that I was transgressing. I will certainly give the Minister an opportunity of investigating these cases, and feel confident that I can prove everything that I have said in the matter. The papers are on my file in Sydney. I enter my protest here against any civilians ever having to be tried by court martial because I am convinced they do not get a fair deal. I did hope that when the Labour party took its place in the National Parliament of this country, militarism would be a tiling of the past, but unfortunately it has developed to a considerable extent. I think, however, that the system will break down, because it has been clearly proved that our trainee soldiers can fall into their places behind the guns in the forts and elsewhere, and can take their place with the best soldiers in the world.

Senator Pearce - Well, that is because of our military system, and now you say it has broken down.

Senator McDOUGALL - I did notsay anything of the sort. I am referring to the military system of other countries, the Prussian system, which it appears is to be introduced into Australia. That is the system I object to.

Senator Pearce - We have no intention of introducing that system in Australia.

Senator McDOUGALL - Well, I heard an honorable senator the other day advocating the establishment of a standing army for Australia of 25,000.

Senator Pearce - Who? Did you refer to me ?

Senator McDOUGALL - No, but to another honorable senator.

Senator Needham - Yes, and he mentioned1s. 2d. a day as the pay.

Senator McDOUGALL - The citizen soldiery is the system best designed for the defence of Australia, and I honestly believe that it has developed to such an extent that we need not have any fear ofan invasion. I take this opportunity of again protesting on behalf of my f ellow workmen against the prospect ofever having to be compelled to submit to the third degree by a military court martial.

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