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Wednesday, 11 May 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - It merely gives the court power to inflict alternative forms of punishment. The punishment of a member of the Permanent Forces might be a monetary one, or discharge from the Forces, but we would not discharge from the Forces a person who was subject to compulsory military training. It is merely to allow freedom in view of the fact that we are dealing in one case with members of the Permanent Forces, to whom discharge in itself might be a punishment; but in the other case we do not want to give the court power to discharge from the Forces a person who is serving compulsorily.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 44 -

Section ninety-eight of the principal Act is amended -

(a)   by inserting therein, after the words "except for", the word "murder"; and

(b)   by inserting therein, after the word "court martial" (second occurring), . the words " within the limits of the Commonweal th , ".

Section proposed to be amended -

98.   No member of the Defence Force shall be sentenced to death by any court martial except for mutiny, desertion to the enemy, or traitorously delivering up to the enemy any garrison, fortress, post, guard, or ship, vessel, or boat, or traitorous correspondence with the enemy; and no sentence of death passed by any court martial shall be carried into effect until confirmed by the Governor-General.

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