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Thursday, 12 May 1921


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - This clause was postponed because a member of the Committee thought that it might be affected by clause 18, which dealt with the British Army Act. It does not affect it in any way, because the reference in this clause to the Army Act relates only to a time of war.

Clause agreed to.

Postponed clause 58 (Production of Departmental documents).

Upon which Senator Pearce had moved -

That at the end of the clause the following new section be inserted: - "123H.- (1) If an officer of the Military Forces thinks that he has been wronged and, on due application, does not receive the redress to which he considers he is entitled, he may complain through the proper channel to the Military Board, or, if the Military Board is not at the time constituted, to the General Officer commanding the Australian Military Forces in which he is serving.

(2)   The Military Board or the General Officer, as the case may be, shall, without delay, investigate the complaint.

(3)   If the officer complaining so requires, the Military Board or General Officer, as the case may be, shall forward the complaint to the Minister for submission to the GovernorGeneral together with a report on the subject matter of the complaint.

(4)   Any directions given by the GovernorGeneral in relation to the complaint shall be carried into effect without delay.

(5)   (a) If a soldier thinks that he has been wronged in any matter by any officer other than his captain, or by any soldier, he may complain to his captain; and

(b)   if he thinks that he has been wronged by his captain, either in respect of his complaint not being redressed or in respect of any other matter, he maycomplain to his commanding officer; and

(c)   if he thinks that he has been wronged by his commanding officer, either in respect of his complaint not being redressed or in respect of any other matter, he may complain to the general or other superior officer commanding the command, district or station where for the time being the soldier is serving; and

(d)   If he thinks that he has been wronged by the general or other superior officer specified in the last preceding paragraph either in respect of his complaint not being redressed or in respect of any other matter, he may, except in time of war, complain to the Military Board.

(6)   Any complaint made in pursuance of the last preceding sub-section shall be made through the proper channel.

(7)   Where, in pursuance of sub-section (5) of this section, a complaint is made to the Military Board or to an officer, the Military Board or the officer, as the case may be, shall cause the complaint to be investigated, and, if satisfied with the justice of the complaint, shall take such steps as are necessary for giving, to the soldier complaining, full redress in respect of the subject-matter of the complaint.

(8)   In this section 'captain' means an officer of whatever rank commanding a squadron, battery, company or equivalent command."

And Senator Elliott had moved as an amendment -

That sub-section (2) of the proposed new section be left out.







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