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Thursday, 24 June 1915

Senator BAKHAP - Why take loafers when there are plenty of good men who ought to be taken?

Senator PEARCE - We do not take any loafers knowingly. The pay is sufficient. A man, if single, has nothing to spend his money on; he saves up his money, and just before the boat is about to go he deserts, proceeds to another State, and enlists there. How are we to check him ? We cannot follow him. We would need to have his photograph or thumbprint in every camp in Australia.

Senator Keating - Is there any particular punishment meted out to the deserters ?

Senator PEARCE - If they are caught, yes.

Senator Millen - You have caught some, then?

Senator PEARCE - We have caught some deserters and court martialled them. I have given an instruction that every effort shall be made, not only by the Defence Department, but through the Police, to catch deserters; and that wherever men are arrested an exemplary punishment is to be pressed for.

Senator Millen - Have you any objection to stating what punishment has been meted out to the men who have been " found and dealt with ?

Senator PEARCE - I am prepared to give the information, but I do not remember at this moment what the punish ment has been. There have been very few convictions.

Senator Millen - It is quite clear that the punishment is not severe enough.

Senator PEARCE - I will give the reason why so few deserters have been caught. At the Broadmeadows Camp, for instance, we have a Camp Commandant, and a permanent staff of four or five for the Staff Officers. For all the rest, we have to rely on officers who are going away from time to time with the various regiments. We have a continually changing population in the camp, with the exception of twenty or thirty persons. At times there have been 11,000 soldiers on the ground. There are now, I suppose, 5,000 or 6,000 at Seymour. When one lot of men goes away, a new lot comes, and the consequence is that there are very few persons in the camp who are able to identify people who were there before. Again, when they see a face they remember to have seen there before, for all they know the man may have been kept back for more training. It is very difficult indeed to trace such men at the camp, and to prevent their re-enlistment, or to catch them when they come up for that purpose. We did find that men used to slip away on the night before embarkation. We met that position by not giving the men any pay for a fortnight before they are to leave, paying them on board the transport, stopping all leave a day or two prior to embarkation, and having guards round the camp. But there are still desertions. I do not know what else can be done. I shall be glad of any suggestions as to what could be done. The only thing that occurs to me is to offer a reward.

Senator Millen - As you do with naval deserters?

Senator PEARCE - Yes; and also to ask for exemplary punishment. As regards the statement of Mr. Butler, I addressed the following inquiry to my secretary - .

Mr. Butlerdenies that he made the statement which I quoted here. Please look up your shorthand notes, if you have them, and also the report from which I quoted, and let me have your report to-day, if at all possible.

The reply I received from Mr. Duffy reads -

In connexion with this matter, I have looked up the report from which you quoted, and it contains the following sentence: - "Mr. Butler, speaking as regards the Filing Department, said that a double shift was impracticable." .Ibis report I presented to you after our 'return to Melbourne from Lithgow, you received the deputation. It was transcribed from my original notes. The deputation 'took place Mr. Butler's opinion on this matter, but ;it would be almost impossible to transcribe as "impracticable'" the outline for '' practicable," >or .Mr. Sutler's assertion that It was practicable. .Senator Millen - The most feasible explanation that

Senator PEARCE - .In the typed ".report, Mr. Butler's assertion was that it was not practicable. I come now to the question -of medical 'examination. 'It is as easy as falling off a log to criticise in that regard. I cou'ld, I think, make out a "very good case why we should -reduce 'the chest measurement. I could show -that there are men with a very small chest measurement who have been the fleetest -runners in Australia. I have seen splendid 'axemen and bushmen who nave had a very 'small 'chest measurement. I could make 'out 'a very 'good Base why we should accept -men under '5 feet in height. 'We have 'found men of surprising strength under that, height. I could make out a very .good case why we should accept men who have a full set of 'false teeth, or men "who 'have lost practically all their teeth, 'but are yet .strong and '.healthy. I could make out a very -good case why we should reduce the vision test, and say 'that so .long as a man had one :good eye we should accept !h'im. I could produce excellent shots with only -one eye-; In 'fact, 1 know of a man with only 'one arm who was an expert bushman, a good 'rider, and 'a good shot. "I could 'go on multiplying cases to show 'that the whole /et the medical test -was absolute nonsense, -and should be /swept away. But one swallow "does not make *a .summer, and 'that these is one .active man with one arm who pan aide and shoot does not prove it-hat >we .should send soldiers with -one -arm into action. 'So, when it comes to the question of teeth, it .seems to me .that the medical men have, after .all, put forward a roughandready plan which stands the test of common sense. They say that so long as a man has .sufficient natural teeth, it is not so much a question .as to whether -they Are front or back teeth .as -a question of his .ability to 'masticate his food apart from false teeth. They will not reject .a man with false teeth if, in addition, he has 'sufficient natural teeth to masticate his food. Why does that plan stand the best .of common sense ? 9.. this reason': that a man with insufficient teeth may he able to keep in good 'health if he .can get at this own .home, or in .centres of civilization, such food -as he can 'masticate without -any .difficulty; 'but take that man away from those .'Surroundings, -and put him .on a campaign where he has hard food, perhaps -not too well -cooked, and where lie has to keep physically tough and .fit, it may he found that he becomes physically unfit, and has to be sent to the rear - a handicap to the Army. 'We have had :a -medical inspection of the 'troops. It was 'carried 'out in the country .as well as in the city. Men were accepted in the country as well as in the city who had passed 'the doctor. Twenty thousand of them went to Egypt, and -over 500 have (been :sent back as .physically unfit to stand the campaign. .Senator MILLEN - That number includes the venereal oases?

Senator PEARCE -No. I am dealing with men who the doctors say .ought not to have been passed .at .all - .men who were passed -from .Australia as , physically >fit., 'but whom the doctors abroad have 'returned .as having .been at the time ;of .acceptance '.physically -unfit to .-stand the -rigours

Senator Lt Colonel Sice ALBERT Gould - Were the men who .came from the comatry examined again in .Sydney .or Melbourne?

Senator PEARCE - They were not examined then, but they are now. The bulk of those .men .came from the 'country districts, and apparently the examination -in the country was not ,-so {good -as in the city. -Senator Newland - What was the cost of sending the men .away -and bringing them hack ? -Senator PEARCE. - I should .say .the .country .will lose at least -from £50 to .-£60 a man.

Senator -Grant.- Were .the 500 .men portion of the 30,00.0 to whom .Senator M.illen referred ?

Senator -PEARCE.- They were .some of the -first .20,000 troops who were (raised. On the Kyarra, now -on her way to Australia,, there .are over "150 men medically .unfit., apart from venereal -cases and from men who have been wounded. It is of no- use to send men like that to' the war. The doctors there will not let them go to the front; It is simply wasting their time and the. country's money to train men of that, kind and send them to Egypt or the base, and have- the base officials send them. back, as unfit to put in the trenches.

Senator MULLAN (QUEENSLAND) - Have you. a. medical' conference; on now to consider all these subjects I

Senator- PEARCE.- There, is-, a medical conference, sitting now in> connexion with, the whole question- of medical- work.. Itis dealing not merely with this, phase;, but, chiefly with the reception of the: wounded when they? comet back- from the front-

Senator Millen - .Will it, consider; this! matter %

Senator PEARCE - -Yes. We have discovered theft while, tike, system of inspection! is. the; same> iia every- State;,, thai method, of carrying it: Q.ut varies) in. each State.. We. shall-, endeavour to; gen uniformity,, and. to see if we can: safety interfere with the present standard without, reducing the: effectiveness; of the troops.

Senator McKissock - Now that, a Dental. Corps, has. been, appointed, willthe, restrictions, concerning false: teeth be relaxed...

Senator PEARCE - -The appointment; of a. Dental. Corps will not. affect, that, matter. A mam must have sufficient, natura.1, teeth, apart, from, false, teeth to> thoroughly masticate, his-- food..

Senator McKissock - Cannot thai Dental Corps-. &&. him up ?,

Senator PEARCE - The; members' of the Den tall Corps, do not go- into, the trenches. If a. man- at the front, happens: to- lose;- hist plate-, they/ cannot make it forhim in>. the. firing line; We could, not. establish, a. dental base for the.- manufac- ture of false plates anywhere on the, 6*1- lipoli Peninsula.. There; is; not a- yard of it, which is-, not open, to hostile? fire.

Senator Lynch - There) are plenty ofman with sound teeth who, should, be there to-day

Senator PEARCE - There are. thousands: of men in. Australia to-day,, physically fit, w,ho> have: not: enlisted.

Senator Lynch - -Elm only remedy forthat is to, round them all up.

Senator PEARCE - Senator- Millenobjected to- my statement of. last week that' up to. the time- we took offices nothing had' been done, in regard to the munitions' question'. I still think- that- state*ment correct. Nothing had' been done. up) to that time in regard to. the. production of munitions in Australia. I know the reports: of Professor Rosenhain, to, which the honorable senator refers. That gentleman' dealt with two. things. He gave us a report on the establishment of a-, national laboratory for the- testing of material's and metals, - this would test, allsorts of. tilings, such as. steel, woollens, articles of. food,. &c. - and also, on, themanufacture of rifle- steel- in- Australia. He, said, "This is, a theoretical, report;, but if you want to» do anything practical,, I can recommend a man in England who will, tell you. how it can. be. done,, and - his* fee will be £800."' His reports,, therefore,, did not. get. us. much " forrader,'" and he- did not- deal with the question, of shells at all.

Senator Millen - Tt was intended that, he should do so ;; and- one matter put', before him was, the analysis of a. shell', to determine whether we could make that, steel' in Australia. Tt was, that, matterwhich I discussed personally- with. him.

Senator PEARCE - I have seen no.- re* port- by Professor Rosenhain orr the; manufacture of shells, in Australia..

Senator Millen - I" presume the Minister will- accept my definite: assurance; that; to' enable him to- do so, a: shell' wassawn in sections and handed, to him.

Senator PEARCE - The only reportsof his- that I' have seen are the two I have mentioned.

Senator Guthrie - Were instructions given in. writing,?.

Senato.ii PEARCE. - Some instructions, must, have, been given,, because he- did. inquire, into the, two, questions:. I'. have, mentioned^ and submitted reports. I. am. glad/ to. have Senator Millen?s> statement- that, he. sent for Mr., Wright. I. have been told times, out. of number, that, when, Mr. Wright told me that it would take, soma time, to: introduce the. double- shift, I. should have, instructed him to: do. i,lr straight off. Why, did not. Senator Millen. do that?:

Senator-Millen. - Because-! Mr:. Wright, led me to.- believe- that, a- matter of a few weeks would do? it- not a few months, or ten months.

Senator PEARCE - Them,, when. Mr: Wright made: the: same statement to me,. 1 should have disbelieved, him,, but. the; honorable! senator was' right in believing; him'?Is that. the', inference- to- be drawing If so>,. surely it"- is- unfair. According to, that- idea, Senator Millen was quite right in believing him and accepting his advice, but I ought to have disbelieved him and rejected it.

Senator Millen - You believed it for ten months.

Senator PEARCE - I have time after time pressed that question on Mr. Wright, and time after time he has told me that he was carrying out my directions and putting on the additional labour, but that, to use a phrase popular with our opponents, " The time is not yet ripe." According to Senator Millen, he was perfectly justified in accepting Mr. Wright's statement, but I was not.

Senator Millen - I accepted his statement, but if he had not made it good in the few weeks he promised, I should have wanted to know something.

Senator PEARCE - That is only prophesy. The other is fact. What Senator Millen would have done we can only surmise. What he actually did do was what I did. He said, " This man is an expert. He is the manager, and knows the Factory. He tells me that at present he cannot work the double shift, but will be able to do so by-and-by." Then he told Mr. Wright to introduce the double shift as soon as he could.

Senator Millen - The difference is that I went and made other inquiries, and you did not.

Senator PEARCE - That is not correct, because I did make other inquiries. As regards the German doctor alleged to be employed at the Liverpool Camp, I happen to know something of the matter, because I received a letter on the subject this morning. I have not the slightest hesitation in giving the benefit of the doubt in favour of our safety, but there are plenty of people in Australia with German names who have proved themselves in this war to be true Britishers. Time after time in the lists of casualties one comes across absolutely German names. The names of Schmidt and others appear, showing that men bearing them have made the biggest sacrifice for their country that any man can make. They have proved their loyalty, and, therefore, we should not be influenced by mere names. I am not prepared to condemn a man simply on his name, but I have time after time stated publicly that if any one knows suspicious circumstances about any man, German or otherwise, it is his duty to write to me, and inform me of the grounds he has for suspicion, so that 1 can have the matter investigated.

Senator Millen - The fact that the Minister has received a letter is a proof that the matter is exciting comment.

Senator PEARCE - But the letter carries us no further than the honorable senator's statement. It tells us only what he told us to-day - that there is a feeling of doubt or uneasiness because the man is there and has a German name, and is believed to have relatives in the German Army. At any rate, I shall have inquiries made. Senator Millen's suggestions that, in addition to the existing recruiting depots in the capitals, we should establish depots in the larger cities in the different States, is worthy of consideration, which I shall certainly give it. Recruiting is permitted now in country towns. Every mayor of a municipality or shire council can enlist men, have them medically examined, and give them a warrant for a ticket; but when they reach the capital they have to be again medically examined. I take it that Senator Millen means that we should have our own medical and military officers at the new recruiting depots in the country. I shall look into that suggestion, and see whether it is practicable. It appears to be a good idea. I do not know much about the canteen at Liverpool, to which Senator McDougall, as well as Senator Millen, referred. Major Wilson, an honorary major - he is a civilian, not one of the dreaded military men - was the owner of the land at Broadmeadows, and volunteered, as the men were being very badly served at Broadmeadows, to organize a co-operative canteen there. He did it on lines very acceptable to the men, and with most satisfactory results. Seeing the good work he had done there, I asked him to visit each of the States in turn, and put their canteens on the same lines. He has done so, but I am not yet conversant with what he has done. I shall get the papers regarding the New South Wales camp ; but, from what I can make out from the newspaper statement read by Senator Millen, I do not think any great harm has been done. Judging by the amount of rent that these people are paying to the Department, it seems to me that the men are getting as much from them per 1,000 as we are getting from the Broadmeadows Camp.

Senator Millen - Who gets the profit?*

Senator PEARCE - The Defence Department receives it, and hands it over to the men. It is the men who get the benefit of it, just as they get the benefit of the profits made at Broadmeadows.

Senator Millen - I understand that a private firm pays a lump sum to the Department, and is given the monopoly of running all the undertakings at the Liverpool Camp, such as barbers' and photographers' shops.

Senator PEARCE - That is practically what is done at Broadmeadows, except that at Broadmeadows, instead of a private firm doing it, the men are employed by the canteen committee. Major Wilson takes them on and pays them wages. In New South Wales, apparently, a firm has been brought in to do it; out, judging by the amount of money the firm is handing over to the men, the men are getting the same amount of money per 1,000 as they are getting at Broadmeadows.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGould. - Does the money go to the benefit of the men?

Senator PEARCE - Yes; they buy recreation material and other things with it.

Senator Grant -; - But who gets the extra profit from those to whom the different businesses are farmed out?

Senator PEARCE - I suppose the firm makes a profit; but the article quoted by Senator Millen says that the prices paid at the camp compare very favorably with those charged in Sydney. If th« men are not paying higher prices, and are getting the same profit per 1,000 as at Broadmeadows, I do not see that much harm is done.

Senator Millen - Another aspect of the case is the farming out of the different conveniences.

Senator PEARCE - Under any other system, wages would have to be paid to men to run them.

Senator Millen - Why cannot the Department engage hairdressers and others "direct, instead of allowing an outside firm to farm out the business ?

Senator PEARCE - I have not sufficient information on the subject, but will have the matter looked into. I shall bring Senator McDougall's statements regarding the Continental Tyre Company under the notice of the Attorney-General. I cannot resist the opportunity of quoting the latest remarks of Mr. Lloyd George on the question of munitions. In a speech made in the House of Commons yesterday, he said -

The Trench have mobilized their resources, though a large portion of their industrial area is in the hands of the enemy. Our engineering resources are greater than those of France. If we produced in the next few months as much as France, the Allies would have an overwhelming superiority. Germany has achieved a temporary preponderance in heavy guns, high explosives, rifles, and machine guns. The machine guns are the most formidable weapons in the war, and have almost superseded rifles. The difficulty is that the machinery necessary cannot be improvised in a short time. It takes eight or nine months before a single rifle or gun can be turned out.

This is the greatest manufacturing country in the world - a country which commenced manufacturing long before any other country. Yet, when it starts to improvize, it discovers that it will take eight or nine months before a new Small Arms Factory can turn out rifles -

It is largely a question of machinery and labour. Some material we have in abundance, some we have to husband, and some we must take steps to increase. We have a vast amount of machinery that is essential to the production of munitions. Our supply of other machinery is short. It is a question of the organization over the whole field of what is essential to the supply of munitions. We must recognise our armament firms, which have proved quite inadequate to supply the old and new Armies.

These firms, many of which have been established for 100 years, have proved quite incapable of supplying the old and new Armies. The statement proceeds -

Sub-contracting has undoubtedly been a failure. Good results are expected from inviting business men to organize and assist the Ministry to develop the resources in their districts. Loudon has come to the rescue by manufacturing fuses for high explosives. Shortly there would be another Woolwich arsenal turning out prodigious quantities of munitions, not merely shells, but particular parts of shells which other parts of the country could not supply.

Yet we have been told that Australia, which has never yet made a shell, and which possesses a steel industry that is only in its infancy, can make shells, and that it is only due to the laxity of the Minister of Defence that private firms have not been afforded an opportunity of manufacturing them. But Mr. Lloyd George says that this new Woolwich arsenal will make parts of shells which other' portions of the country cannot supply. ...3 r,

Senator Guthrie - But we, have the raw material in Australia, whereas Eng-land has not.

Senator- PEARCE;--No doubt we have the raw material,, and I hope that, we shall' soon, have the- finished article. But. we. have a- long;, long- row to hoe before we do. produce- the finished article, and the; taskis not' as easy as our arm-chair critics, would- have, the; people of Australia her lieve Seeing that- the Old Country - which is' so- pre-eminent in manufactures - finds a. difficulty in producing shells, how much must that difficulty be. accentuated in a. country like Australia? The. statement continues5 -

A' shortage, in; one: particular may stop the whole business of-1 manufacturing munitions'. The: making; o£ high, explosives must, keep, pace; with, tha supply of shells..

That isi to say;, the; output isi regulated by the supply of any particular part of the shell. It is. of no use being able to turn out l,p.Q0i shell, cases, im a day if we; cannot, turn out 1,60.0 fuses. -

Wren- a- return is secured! shortly* of' thewHole, machinery in- the. country; it wilT be- possible to- estimate: the' national, output:

So. that, that Imperial! authorities., are: not, yet able- to> estimate- the- national' output5 -

The development of these new- sources of supply is bound to- take time. It will' certainly be months before we can attain anything- Tike the- maximum output of which* the. country, iscapable:.

That is- Mr. Lloyd George's; judgment after months of experience, in the) manufacture of. these munitions, and I. say that it should, give, pause, to those, who.- criticise, the: Government; in, a- hostile:, fashion.. If: the- difficulties' outlined- by him are- experienced in. a country so. organized and' so. well developed' as- is Great Britain,, how, much more, will, they be- experienced in a country like- Australia ? Instead of carping criticism there should be some attempt on the part of our critics to render assistance to the Government,, and to. give credit where; credit, is- due. Let me give an instance- of the; desire which is exhibited to- take- advantage: of. anything, to. discredit, the Government, and,. 'in: particular, to- discredit the Minister of Defence. The: report of the- Munitions. Committee, which I. laid on- the: table- of theSenate* t'o.-da-y points out that if we are going; to. manufacture: munitions- of war. there is one Department, which wall haveto be created - a Department for the, in spection of these munitions: Both: newspapers seize: on this point as* demonstrating the ineptitude of the present Ministerof Defence and of the- Government. They urge that we have so neglected our duty that we have not provided1 an InspectionDepartment for- war-like stores: Now, the report of the Munitions- Committee does not say anything- of the kind. It pointsout that there are certain, munitions: which its- members were told, off to investigate, and which Australia has. never yet produced. The Committee have: been told off- to- tell us how we can produce those munitions-,, and when and where we can produce them-. They say that one of the things we. shall require when we do produce, them is an. Inspection Department., We have an. Inspection. Department in every branch of munitions that we been, manufacturing; in Australia.. We, have had our Inspection. Department, fox- rifle's, ever since, the. Small Arms:. Factory was, established'.. We., have- had am Inspection Department for our cordite ever since: cordite wast manufactured1, in Australia. Similarly,;, we- have had- am Inspection) Department in connexion with, the manufacture off cartridges; clothing;, audi uniforms. We have; inspectors: who! inspect: the; limbers of: out. guns;, but', we have not. an Inspection Department for- guns wade shells;., because; SO, far we, have- not: produced them*. These munitions have* beenobtained under- contract with thm WarOffice in England^ and the; War- Office has; tested them before they were sent outhere. I mention' this' matter- to- show thedeliberate intention of certain- newspaperstor discredit the Government by means of creditable or discreditable' tactics: I say that there has been a deliberate attempt to throw dust in the eyes of the people outside, and to make them believe that wehave avoided doing one of the very first things that' a Government should' d'o, namely,, to provide for an inspection of', war-like stores made in this country. A press, which would be so, unscrupulous' cannot expect to. be credited with any. regard for. the principles, of fair play. It. shows a. desire, to- wound and. tor strike} no, matter what, may. be the) cost in, public, confidence, during this war-. Is. an. endeavour, to, make-, the people be:lieve that, the rifle placed, in. the. handsof a» recruit hast never been tested the. way inwhich to assist recruiting? Is an attempt to make Australians 'believe that the cartridges which our troops willfire have never beentested the wayin which to encourage men to go tothe front? But the press is so anxious to destroy this Government that, even if it destroys Australia's power to help the Empire during this period of unexampled trial, it will strike at us. I have nodesireto control myself in dealing with a situation lake that. If any honorable senator will read the reportof the Munitions iCom- mittee, and also the comments upon it by to-day's (newspapers, he will see that every word Ihave uttered is justified. . I do not associate SenatorMillen, and those who have spoken to-day, with that criticism.

Senator Guthrie - The newspapers are their organs.

Senator PEARCE - They arenot connected with them.On thispoint they have not spoken, andI want to dissociate them from anythingI have said in that connexion.

Senator Russell - Is itnottimethat they repudiated the Argus?

Senator PEARCE - I saythatthese arepresstactics ofadespicable character. Ithink Ihave nowsaid all thatI set out to say. But before I resume my seat, I should liketogivehonorable senators the text of a cable which Ihave just received from 'General Sir Ian Hamilton, and which isdated 23rd June. Itreads -

After twenty-four hours heavy andcontinuous fighting a substantialsuccesshas been achieved. As already reported,the battle of 4th-5thJune resulted in a good advance of my centre,towhich neither myright normy left were able to 'conform,the reason beingthat the Turkish positionsinfrontof theflanks are naturally Strong, and exceedingly well fortified. At 4.30 a.m. on the '21st, General Gouraud began an attack upon the line offormidableworks which runalong theKereves Dere. By moon, the : 2ndFrench Divisionhad stormedand captured all the Turkishfirst . and second line trenches opposite their front, including the famousHaricot redoubt, With its subsidiary maze of entanglements and communicationtrenches. Ontheirright the1st FrenchDivision,afterfierce fighting,alsotook the Turkishtrenchesopposite their front,but were counter attacked so heavily that -they were forced tofall back; again this division attacked, again it stormedthe position, and again itwas driven out. The bombardment of theTurkishleft wasresumed, the British guns and howitzers lending theiraidtothe IfFrenchartillery asin the previous attacks. At about6 p.m. a fine attack was launched, '600 yards ofTurkishfirst-line trenches were taken, and, despite heavy counter attacks during the nightespecially at . 3:30 a.m allcaptured positions are still in our hands.

Am afraid casualties are considerable, 'but details are lacking. The enemy 'lost very heavily.OneTurkishbattalion coming up to reinforcewas spottedby an aeroplane and waspracticallywiped outby the seventy-fives before they could scatter. Type of fighting didnotlend itselfto making prisoners, and only some fifty, including an 'Officer, are in our hands . Theelan and contempt of danger shownby the young French draftsof the last contingent, averaging perhaps, twenty years of age,was much admiredby all. During 'the '"fighting 'theFrench battleship St. Louisdid excellentserviceagainst the Asiatic batteries. French casualties were . approximately 2,500, which, for the great success gained, is not excessive. Enemy casualties veryheavy,beingestimated not less than 7,000, many of whichwere caused by theFrench seventy-fives, which, during counterattack yesterdaymorning, caught the Turks indense formation, and absolutely mowed them down. Turks most gallant, and when short of ammunition fought 'Frenchwithstones and 'fists, and, (in (spite of heavyartilleryfire,advanced in rushes between theRafalos.

SenatorLt. -Colonel SirALBERT GOULD . (NewSouth Wales) [5.49].- I amsurethathonorablesenators entertain onlyoneopinion in regard, tothe message which theMinisterhas justread. Werejoice toknow that valuable progress hasbeen made on theGallipoliPeninsula during the last dayortwo. Wo know that our own men have bornetheir fair share ofthefighting. Weknow Whatthey havedone previously, and we believethat theywill continueto acquit themselvesequally well.But I wishnow tosaya f ewwordsin reply tothe remarksofthe Minister as to the attacks of certainnewspapersontheGovernment, andparticularlyin replyto the interjectionthat honorablesenatorsuponthis side of theChamberare themouthpieces of those newspapers.

Senator Needham - : Is the honorable senatorapologizing forthem ?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD -Iapologizefor no newspaper, butI say 'that it is incorrect to allege thatwearethemouthpieces of anynewspaper.One ofthemostimportantmatterswith which iParliamentcan dealis the safetyof the country.Itisthedutyof every honorable senatorto dothebest hecan,byadvice and criticism,to improve the position oftheEmpire,especiallyduring the present (greatEuropean struggle. 'The complaintmadeusthat we should have had inspectioncommittees in respect ofall kindsof military material. and that work in the production of military material in other directions that those in which we have so far been engaged should have, been going on.

Senator Needham - How could we inspect guns when none were being made ?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - I say that we should have started our work. It is quite beside -the question to say that anything is being done to prevent recruiting by attempts to belittle the value of the rifles or the ammunition we propose giving to our soldiers. No one has made or insinuated any such thing.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Did the honorable senator read the article in the Argus of this morning ?

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD. - I am not concerned with the article which appeared in the Argus.

Senator GUY (TASMANIA) - That is what the Minister of Defence referred to.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD .- - We have been informed that there have been inspection committees at work, and that every weapon that we have put into the hands of our soldiers has been properly tested, and on its merits will compare with weapons produced elsewhere. The Opposition accept that assurance, and believe the statement to be correct, so that there should be no insinuation that what is said is intended in any way to diminish recruiting.

Senator Bakhap - We know that there has been no criticism so severe as that of a Labour Conference that met recently, and the proceedings of which were reported at length in the Daily Telegraph.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - We know that, from time to time, there have been severe criticisms passed by Labour organizations.

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