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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Mr KENNEDY (Moira) - I move-

That the following words be left out : - "To Colonel Thomas Price, C.B., as compensation for permanent injuries received while on duty, and certified to by the Army Medical Board, £500."

I have a great , mass of papers here which I think it is absolutely necessary to read. One honorable member has stated that it is necessary that the X rays should be employed inthe examination of injuries such as those sustained by Colonel Price. I find, by reference to the official records, that the X rays were applied, and it is stated on the authority of some gentleman whose signature is undecipherable that there was no dislocation of the shoulder. The first claim for compensation was made by Colonel Price onthe 27th October, 1902, in the following terms : -

I have the honour to request that a Medical Board may be assembled to examine, report, and assess compensation, if given me, for injuries to my right arm received when on duty.

Ihave refrained from applying hitherto for this board, as I was in hopes that during my tenure of service here the injury might heal, but as I am now under notice to leave the Forces, and have to earn my livelihood (probably by manual labour), I am compelled to ask that my case may be inquired into, and proper compensation for my accident be given to me.

I quote the case of Lieutenant-Colonel Snee, of Victoria, as a precedent.

I can quite understand the anxiety of Colonel Price as to his future. The DirectorGeneral of the Army Medical Services in his reply says : -

The General Officer Commanding directs me to inform you that since your letter of 22nd October, 1902, was written, your notification to leave the Forces has been withdrawn.

I t appears that before the accident, Colonel Priceintimated his desire to leave the Forces, but special consideration was shown to him, and he was allowed to accept a position in Queensland. I think that it is absolutely necessary that the Committee should hear these papers read. I desire to direct attention to the state of the Committee. [Quorum formed]. I regret that an officer who has served in the Military Forces for the greater part of his life should have to contemplate the necessity of earning his living by manual labour. The memorandum, to which I have previously referred, directedthat a Medical Board should be appointed to conduct an inquiry. The Board assembled on the 17th November, and a report of its proceedings is attached. Then there is a memorandum from the Director-General of the Army Medical Services, who, in view of the opinion expressed by the Medical Board, held on 20th November, 1902. that there was a prospect of improvement in Colonel Price's case, recommended that he should reappear before a Medical Board on 13th June, 1903. The General Officer Commanding; agreed to this, and the Medical Board assembled. Then a question arose as to the proper form of proceeding to be adopted. I think it will be of advantage to us to have the assistance of the chief military authority in this House, the honorable and learned member for Corio, and, therefore. I again call attention to the state of the Committee. [Quorumformed]

Motion (by Mr. Wilson) negatived; -

That the honorable member for Moira be no longer heard.

Mr KENNEDY - Colonel Price, in his reply to the finding of the Board, said that it dealt with the question of his fitness for service abroad, which was not involved, inasmuch as he was not liable for such service, except on his own application. I am informed that the Minister in charge of the Bill wishes to report progress, and I have no desire to prevent him from doing so.

Progress reported.

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