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Wednesday, 11 May 1921


Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) .- The clause seems to be the very reverse of the one to which I took exception a little while ago, with this difference, that here the time is not limited, whereas in the other case it was.


Senator Keating - These are specific exceptions to the limitation in clause 48.


Senator GARDINER - That convinces me that I was right in objecting to that limitation. I am suspicious enough to believe that that limitation was deliberately put in to settle some cases, and that this clause has had to be included to protect the Government in case frauds committed previously are discovered, hereafter. 'I am also a little suspicious about applying the Army Act, and frpm this on, wherever the words " the Army Act " appear, I shall endeavour to induce the Committee to leave them out. In fact. I shall call for a division on each occasion. We may find out after a short-lived triumph for having saved Australia from the imposition of the Army Act, that the Minister has let us in for it by allowing certain clauses to be passed through honorable senators being in ignorance of what they were doing. I do not say that- the Minister would be guilty of not being frank with the Committee, but he might inadvertently miss some provision which might take from us that which we have already done.


Senator Pearce - Our soldiers fought under' the Army. Act; and as there is a possibility of our discovering frauds of this character, we ought to have the power to punish the offenders.


Senator GARDINER - I realize that our men have fought under the Army Act, and I would be pleased to move. to insert a clause in this Bill to provide that Australian soldiers should never again, inside or outsideAustralia, fight under it. Then it would be incumbent upon the Minister to provide an adequate Defence Act.







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