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Wednesday, 11 August 1926

Senator GUTHRIE - That is where the damage is being done.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - The honorable senator also said that, in England, training starts when boys are thirteen years of age.

Senator Guthrie - For command rank.

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW.That is a different matter. Boys who are to train as seamen are not entered by the Admiralty at thirteen years of age. They are accepted between the ages of fifteen and a-quarter and sixteen and three-quarter years. The lower ratings do not start- at thirteen years of age.

The honorable senator had in mind the cadets at the Royal Naval College, who are training as officers.

Senator GUTHRIE - Is it' the intention to increase the age at which they shall be admitted ?

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW.Yes; for the time being.

Senator Guthrie - That is where the damage is being done.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - It is only for a time. I can assure the honorable senator that there is no need to fear that there will not be sufficient Australians to man the new cruisers. The Naval Board has made its plans, and has approved of the temporary suspension of the provision to take the boys for training between the ages of fourteen and a half and sixteen years. There is, therefore, no warrant for the statement of the honorable senator that the Minister has broken faith with the naval authorities or the Australian public* The Minister has given full consideration to, and is acting in conformity with, the recommendation of the Naval Board.

Senator Guthrie - Is it not a fact that the Naval Board definitely reported against the training of the lads at the Flinders Naval Base, and is it not true, also, that the Minister is acting against the wishes of the board?


I am not able, at the moment, to answer the honorable senator's question. The department, as he knows, is not under my control. The honorable senator referred also to the proposed establishment of a training school at Osborne Souse, Geelong, and stated that the training of the lads at the Flinders Naval Base, adjacent to the men's quarters, was against the practice of the naval authorities of other countries. In reply to the honorable senator's statement, I may say that the proposal to establish a training school at Osborne House has not been abandoned. Steps are being taken to secure the site -from the State Government, and the scheme will be initiated when funds permit.

I listened with interest to Senator Elliott's remarks concerning the grievance of an official in the Territory of New Guinea, and in reply I should- like to point out that that it is not possible for the officer to get his'- increment unless it is recommended by the head of the department. A Minister cannot be expected to be familiar with the position of every officer in his department, and it is for the departmental head to recommend the payment of an increment.

Senator Elliottreferred at some length to the buildings being erected in the civic centre at Canberra. It is well known that the civic centre leases were sold subject to building covenants and the purchasers should have made it their business to become conversant with those covenants before purchasing. The building conditions have been laid down by the Federal Capital Commission, after Careful, consideration, with the object of ensuring the development of thb Capital City on approved lines. We cannot allow " jerry-built " structures, particularly .in the civic centre, because we wish Canberra to be a city of which we may be proud.

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