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Thursday, 12 May 1921


Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - It occurs to me that there is no real difference between the amendment proposed by the Minister and that submitted by Senator Elliott.


Senator Elliott - There is a material difference to the soldiers.


Senator GARDINER - There may appear to be so from the wording of the 6wo amendments, but in actual operation I think it would be found that there wouldbe no difference. The soldier is debarred the right to appeal to the Executive.


Senator Elliott - Under my amendment he would be given that right.


Senator GARDINER - The Minister's amendment would allow him to appeal only to the Military Board.


Senator Elliott - That is so.


Senator GARDINER - We have to consider what the Executive really is. If a soldier appealed from the Military Board to the Executive, what real advantage would that give him? He could not appear before the Executive. He might send his complaint to the Minister to have it brought before the Executive. The Executive Council at 'which the complant is considered might consist of three or four Ministers and the VicePresident of the Executive Council. The Minister might say at the Executive meeting, " This is a case in which the soldier has already been to So-and-so. He has had four appeals already. His case has been thoroughly investigated, and I cannot recommend that anything should be done." The Minister might take this course in the honest performance of his duty, and what benefit would the appeal to the Executive be to the soldier in such a case.


Senator Elliott - Under my amendment a Judge would have found the facts, and his findings would be before the Executive.


Senator GARDINER - We may be using a steam-hammer to crack a watchcase.


Senator Elliott - The honorable senator might move that these cases should be investigated by a Select Committee of the Senate.

Sitting suspended from 6.20 to 8 p.m.

Clause postponed.

Clause 59 -

Section 124 of the principal Act is amended -

(a)   by inserting in paragraph(g) of subsection (1) thereof, after the word "courts martial" (second occurring) , the words " and the powers exercisable in relation to those findings and sentences";

(b)   by inserting after paragraph(ga) of that sub-section the following paragraph : - " (gb) The restraint, discipline, and training of persons in cus tody or detained in a prescribed institution or place under Part XII. of this Act.";

(c)   by inserting in paragraph (i) of that sub-section, after the word " regulation," the word "command";

(d)   by omitting from paragraph (p) of that sub-section the words "and rifle' practice," and inserting in their stead the words " rifle, aerial gunnery, and bombing practice"; and

(e)   by omitting from paragraph (q) of that sub-section the words "or military," and inserting in their stead the words " Military or Air Force."

Section proposed to be amended -124. (1) The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act. prescribing all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed, or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed, for securing the discipline and good government of the Defence Force, or for carrying out or giving effect to this Act, and in particular prescribing matters providing for and in relation to -

(g)   the convening, composition, procedure, and powers of courts martial and courts of inquiry, and the revision and confirmation of the findings and sentences of courts martial, and the mitigation, remission, and commutation of the punishments; .

(p)   the regulation of artillery and rifle practice;

(q)   the preservation of the public safety in or at any naval or military operation or practice;







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