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Wednesday, 13 July 1921
Page: 9945

Senator PEARCE - The replies to the honorable senator's questions are as follow : -

1.   My attention hasbeen drawn to the articlementioned. The principles governing the arms and training of the Australian Light Horse are at present under consideration.

2.   No special arms have been purchased. The arms obtained for the Australian Imperial Force are, or will shortly be, available.

3.   There are no official reports on the subject.

4.   It is obviously impossible, in reply to a question, to make such detailed information' available. The data inquired for will in time be obtainable . from officialhistories. It is significant that Australian Light Horse were armed withswords; late in the campaign, ' at their own request, and as the result of their wide experience.

5.   As far as I am aware, it is not a fact. The British Government has not informed us that cavalry is obsolete.

6.   I cannot pretend to the profound knowledge of military history necessary to assert definite conclusions on matters in the realm of the expert. I am advised, however, that a wealth of experience is available from our own operations in the recent war to prove both the necessity of mounted troops and the need for them to possess the power -to charge mounted.

7.   This is a question for experts, and military advice has not, so far, attempted to predict the distant future.

8.   This technical matter will be decided when the principlehas been settled.

9.   When a decision is arrived at, and a suitable opportunity occurs, I will have no objection to making such statement, and the Standing Orders and procedure of the Senate provide ample opportunity for such discussion. 10.The report referred to contains matter of a secret nature, which, in the public interest, it is not advisable to make available.

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