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Thursday, 28 June 1906

Mr EWING (Richmond) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I desire to make a statement which should, perhaps, take the form of a personal explanation. The honorable and learned member for Corio to-day asked the following question of the Minister representing the Minister of Defence: -

Whether, in the appointment of an Inspector for the Military Forces, the Minister for Defence will adhere to his announcement that all appointments in the Australian Forces are to be made from Australians.

My reply to the question was "Yes." But there is a sort of double question or inference in the question as submitted by the honorable and learned member for Corio, which at the moment of answering I did not perceive. It should have been stated further that paragraph 8 of the Governor-General's opening speech describes the whole attitude of the Government with regard to these matters. It reads as follows : -

8.   For over twenty years Australia has enjoyed the assistanceof a number of Imperial officers for the purpose of training those in command of our local Forces, in addition la which many of iiic latter have been sent to longland and India for instruction. Hereafter preference in appointments will be given to Australian officers and non-commissioned officers. The policy of sending mcn of promise to England, India, and elsewhere for training will be continued ; and arrangements have been made for the periodical exchange of our own officers with those of the Imperial Army, both in England and India, and also with the Canadian Forces. The advice and assistance of officers in the Navy and Army of the mother country possessed of special qualifications for judging our progress will bc sought from time to time.

I desire to repeat this so as to make the attitude of the Government perfectly clear with, regard to all appointments.

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