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Tuesday, 19 July 1921

Senator PEARCE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - The answers are -

1.   Yes.

2.   No; but it is apparent that the instructions issued by the Military Board on the subject, dated 4th July, 1921, were not available in Western Australia at the date of the issue of the paper referred to, viz., 8th July, 1921. The instructions are as follow : -

In regard to Citizen Force officers who, by reason of service in the Australian Imperial Force, are temporarily or permanently unfit for active service, but fit for duty on Divisional or other Staffs, it has been decided, in view of the special value of the services of some of these officers, thatconsideration will be given to their employment on Citizen Force Staffs.

2.   Approval will only be granted for such employment on the special recommendation of the Divisional or Mixed Brigade Commander, and such recommendation should state clearly the full circumstances of the case and the reason why it is considered advisable that an officer, not medically fit for active service, should be appointed.

These instructions have been further supplemented, whereby employment is not restricted to Citizen Force Stan's, and provision has been made also for the inclusion of noncommissioned officers.

3.   As the commanding officers of battalions under the new organization have just been gazetted, very few battalion lists have yet been received and checked, and of these only ten battalion lists have been gazetted. These lists are not yet complete, however, as commanders have been given time, to 31st December, to secure the services of Australian Imperial Force officers. It is not practicable at present, therefore,to state, with any degree of accuracy, the number of Australian Imperial Force officers now serving, but a rough estimate made from the lists which have been received shows that the battalions generally, will average from twenty to twenty-five ex-Australian Imperial Force officers.

4.   Yes, provided that the present disability of the officer is not thereby aggravated.

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