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Friday, 29 April 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - Again, on the definition of " active service " as interpreted by the British Army Act, I would draw the attention to sub-section (2) of section 189.

Senator Pearce - That does not apply. There are no Forces of the British Government serving here.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I shall readthe sub-section referred to -

(2)   Where the Governor of a colony in which any of His Majesty's Forces are serving, or if the Forces are serving out of His Majesty's Dominions, the General Officer commanding such Forces, declares at any time or times that, by reason of the imminence of active service, or of the recent existence of active service, it is necessary for the public service that the Forces in the colony or under his command,as the case may be, should be temporarily subject to this Act, as if they were on active service, then, on the publication in General Orders of any such declaration, the Forces to which the declaration applies shall be deemed to be on active service for the period mentioned in the declaration, bo that the period mentioned in any one declaration do not exceed three months from the date thereof.

To me this seems to indicate that if any declaration of this sort was made during the currency of the war by the officer commanding the Military Forces of Australia, it could be claimed now that soldiers who enlisted here were actually on active, service in the same sense as those who enlisted and went to the Front.

Senator Pearce - Do you say that such a declaration was made?

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - No. I am saying if any such declaration were made this might be the result.

Senator Pearce - There was no such declaration.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then, of course, this second sub-section cannot apply.

Senator Pearce - No part of that section is applicable as regards the late war.

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