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Tuesday, 23 August 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister for Defence) (Minister for Defence) . - On the last day of sitting, I promised the Senate that I would make further inquiries in regard to the alleged offer of a Divisional Command to Senator Elliott. I now have certain information, and ask leave to submit it to the Senate.

Leave granted.

Senator PEARCE - Following upon the statement that I made in the Senate on Friday last, I gave instructions that an urgent telegram should be sent to General Brand by the Adjutant-General. In accordance with those instructions, the message I will now read was despatched : -

General Brand, Victoria Barracks,Paddington, Sydney.

A3715. Confidential. Elliott stated in Senate last night he received letter from you containing, as far as he can recollect, the following : - (Begins) " As one of the senior officers of the Australian Imperial Force, your claims to appointment as a Divisional Commander cannot be overlooked. Will you please inform me whether, in the event of your being recommended to the Minister, you would be prepared to carry out the duties." (ends). The Minister desires to know whether any such communication was sent by you either officially or unofficially; and, if so, by what authority you acted, and whether you did so with the knowledge of any member of the Military Board, and if you communicated Elliott's reply, if any, to Any member of the Military Board. Elliott also states he ac- tually returned the letter above referred to to you in accordance with regulation 827 with his minute thereon. State if this correct. Minister desires you reply to each above questions by urgent telegram.

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