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Friday, 29 April 1921


The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable senator is not entitled to introduce matter which he cannot connect with the question before the Committee, namely, the dereliction of a master's duty in respect to apprenticeship. L ask him not to heed irrelevant interjections.


Senator ELLIOTT - Orders were issued that men should be punished if they failed tosalute a general's motor oar as it passed. I was almost alone, I think, among the senior officers to enter an emphatic protest I pointed out that the effect of punishment for such an offence would be to defeat its very object, namely, the enforcement of discipline, and that to inflict punishment of a savage nature would tend to bring the whole authority of the Army into contempt among the ranks.


The CHAIRMAN - Order I I consider the honorable senator is now indulging in redundancy which, in any case, is irrelevant to the amendment.


Senator ELLIOTT - The point I wish to make is that this is a civilized age, when the public are more amenable to the laws of the land, and when punishments provided in' regard to breaches of the law are no longer savage or out of proportion to the nature of the offence. I f any employer, in the exercise of what he believed to be his rights, were to attempt to dismiss an apprentice, it would be rightly regarded as a savage form of punishment if he were landed in gaol without redress. The tendency of the infliction of such punishments would be. to turn the public mind against our military laws altogether. It might even swing the people right over from a state of obedience to law to the embracing of Bolshevism.


Senator Cox - The honorable senator is giving them a good lead in that direction.


Senator ELLIOTT - There is no ground for an accusation of that character.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable senator not to digress with a dissertation upon Bolshevism.


Senator ELLIOTT - If we deface our defence legislation with the provision of savage penalties, the people will not only be prejudiced against the laws of the land, but there will be a tendency to active revolt against them.

Question - Thatthe words proposed to be inserted be so inserted (Senator

Earle's amendment) - put. The Com- mittee divided.

Ayes . . . 14

Noes .. ..7

Majority . . 7

 

 

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Progress reported.







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