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Friday, 29 April 1921


Senator FOSTER (Tasmania) . - With regard to Senator Gardiner's objection to the length of service required from officers after they have been trained iu the Military College, there is an aspect of the question upon which some light may be thrown. I understand that we bare in Australia to-day so many men trained at Duntroon that it is found almost impossible to place them in jobs in the Military Service. We have a number of men who were staff-sergeant-majors, warrant officers, and instructors before the war. Some of these men who went to the Front rose as high as majors, and in one case that I know of to the rank of lieutenant-colonel on the field. These men, on their return, were required, in accordance with the promise they made before they went away, to revert to their pre-war rank. When some of them who had gained distinction in the field asked that their claims should be specially considered by the Military Department, they were told in effect - and I have seen this in writing - that there was no opening for. them, because the Department had a number of Duntroon Military College men for whom they were looking for jobs I understand that in districts where, previous to the war, Citizen Force officers acted as adjutants for regiments, we have Duntroon-trained men now occupying positions as adjutants and quartermasters in each of the Military Districts. If we have not a surplus of officers trained at Duntroon, how is it that the men to whom I have referred who have achieved distinction in the field cannot he granted even honorary commissions? Senator Gardiner has said that men trained at Duntroon might, after their training, desire to leave the Military Service rather than continue to serve for a period of eight years, as provided by the clause under consideration, and I say that, even in the interests of the Service it might be advisable that some of these men should get out. We had a case recently of a man who, for some reason, wished to leave the Service, and did leave it. He was court martialed, and a great hullabaloo made about the case, lt was said that discipline had to be maintained, and that others who might wish to leave the Service should be impressed by the horribly shocking example of a Duntroon officer being arrested and court martialed. Then the whole thing fizzled out. After hearing the evidence of the military medical officer the court martial said everything was quite all right, and the officer was allowed to get out. Such restrictions should not be imposed upon men who wish to leave the Military Service.







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