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Wednesday, 21 July 1915

Senator PEARCE - So far as what the honorable senator proposes can be done it will be done. But I point out that if the honorable senator is referring to the Kyarra, if we had only returned the wounded by thatship it would havebeen comparatively empty.

Senator Millen - I spoke of returning the soldiers to their respective States after disembarkation.

Senator PEARCE - I think that, after disembarkation, the differentiation suggested by the honorable senator should be made, and I will see that it is made.

Senator MILLEN - Has the Minister of Defence seen in the Sydney newspapers published last week comments upon the inadequate and unsatisfactory arrangement made at the Victoria Barracks, Sydney, for the enlistment of recruits? The statement is made that the rooms in which recruits are assembled are dirty and unhealthy, that the recruits are required to deposit their clothes on dirty floors, to plough through water and mud to a shed, and back through the water to a room with a cemented floor to await medical inspection? I think it is desirable to bring these statements under the notice of the Minister, feeling confident that he will take steps to remedy the unsatisfactory state of affairs pointed out.

Senator PEARCE - I have not seen the paragraphs referred to. I do not get time to read the Melbourne, let alone the Sydney, press. I shall have inquiries made into the statements, and if they are found to be correct I shall have the state of affairs remedied.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - If the statements are correct, the persons responsible should be sacked.

Senator Millen - I shall give the Minister the newspaper cuttings describing the state of affairs.

Senator PEARCE - I shall be glad to have them.

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