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Thursday, 12 May 1921


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) (4:37 AM) . - Persons who enrolled in the CitizenForces would be paid not under this, clause, but under the provision that I read to the honorable senator. This clause deals with persons employed by the Air Department in any auxiliary service, or in works or establishments, such, as men engaged in clearing landingplaces, erecting marks, and doing work, of that kind.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 89 and 90 agreed to.

Amendment (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-

That the following new clause be inserted: - " 90a. ( 1) If an officer of the Air Forcethinks 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 Air Board, or, if the Air Board is not at the time constituted, to the AirOfficer commanding the Australian Air Force in which he is serving.

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

(3)   If the officer complaining so requires, the Air Board or Air Officer,as the case may bo, shall forward the complaint to the Minister for submission to the Governor-General, 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 an airman thinks that, he has been wronged in any matter by any officer other than his Flight Lieutenant, or by any airman, he may complain to his Flight Lieutenant; and

(b)   if he thinks that he, has been wronged by his Flight Lieutenant, eitherin respect of his complaint not being redressed or in respect of any other matter, he may complain to his CommandingOfficer; 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 Air or other superior officer commanding the command or station where for the time being theairman is serving; and

(d)   if he thinks that he has been wronged by the Air or other superior-, officer specified in the last preceding paragraph, either in respect of his complaint not being redressed or in respect of any oilier matter, he may, except in time of war, complain to the Air 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 Air Board or to and officer, . the Air 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 arc necessary for giving, to the airman complaining, fall redress in respect of the subject-matter of the complaint.

(8)   In this section ' Flight Lieutenant ' means an officer of whatever rank . commanding a Flight or equivalent command."

Clauses 91 and 92. . agreed to. .

Amendment (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That the following new clause be inserted: - " 92a. Any person who -

(a)   wilfully or . by wilful neglect or negligently damages, destroys, or loses any aircraft or aircraft material belonging to, or used in connexion with, the Air Force,, or

(b)   is guilty of any neglect likely to cause any such damage, destruction . or loss; or

(c)   by neglect (whether wilful orotherwise) . causes any property belonging to or used in connexion with the Air Force to be damaged or destroyed by fire ; or

(d)   without lawful authority, disposes of. any aircraft or aircraft material belonging to or used in connexion with the Air Force; or

(e)   wilfully or by wilful neglect or negli gently causes any danger in flying to the life of any officer or airman ; or

(f)   in time of warwilfully and without proper occasion, or negligently, causes the sequestration by or under the authority of a neutral state, or the destruction in 'a neutral state, of any aircraft belonging to or used in connexion with the Air Force, shall be guilty of an offence.

Penalty . Five hundred pounds or imprisonment for three years."


Senator Foster -Why is reference to a neutral State made in the clause if this provision is to have application in peace time? There can bo a neutral State only when we are at war.


Senator Pearce - There is sometimes an interregnum between peace and war, such as we have now. We are technically at war, but we would not apply the Air Force Act to our Air Force now. There is such a thing to-day as a neutral state.


Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - With whom are we technically at war?


Senator Pearce - With Hungary.

Proposed new clause agreed to.

Clause, 93 agreed to.

Postponed; clause 4 (Definitions).







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