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Wednesday, 16 December 1914

Senator PEARCE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - I am afraid that the honorable senator has been misinformed. Boys are eligible to go up for examination in the year in which they become thirteen years of age, so that every boy gets an opportunity to compete. The number of cadets to be admitted to the College in a year is not five. Speaking from memory, I think it is thirty. The boys who pass highest in the competitive educational examination are taken.

Senator Millen - Not only an educational examination.

Senator PEARCE - Owing to the ship being on service it has been found impossible to send round the Selection Committee as was done in previous years, so that in the present year it is practically a competitive educational examination.

Senator O'LOGHLIN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - A certain number from each State is appointed.

Senator PEARCE - A certain number of cadetships is allocated to each State, but, in addition to that, the authorities take the boys who pass highest in the examination. Obviously, each boy has had his chance, and the educational examination papers do not disclose that the older boys pass in greater number than do the younger boys. It will be seen that the boys have had their chance in the competitive educational examina tion, and if they have failed it is not deemed desirable that they should take the place of boys who have passed. The capacity of the College is not larger than the number of cadetships which is set aside.

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