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Thursday, 28 April 1921

Senator PEARCE ("Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - I move -

That Order of the Day, Government Business, No. 1, be postponed until after the consideration of Order of the Day No. 2.

I have not been able .to see all the members of the Senate in connexion with this proposed alteration of the order of Government business, or to speak to the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner) concerning it. My object in submitting the motion is to consult the convenience of honorable senators in the discussion of a very important principle, namely, the incorporation of the Army Act in the Defence Bill, and also in the Air Defence Bill. The Army Act is proposed to be incorporated directly in the Defence Bill and indirectly in the Air Defence Bill by the incorporation of the Imperial Air Force Act in that measure. It has occurred to me that as there is a difference of opinion on the application of the Army Act to our Forces, it would be better to have- the discussion on the Defence Bill, in which it is applied directly. If honorable senators, in considering the Defence Bill in Committee, indicate by their vote that they are against the direct incorporation of the Army Act in that Bill, the Government will be justified in assuming that they are also opposed to its incorporation indirectly in the Air Defence Bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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