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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator FOSTER (Tasmania) . - I am sorry that the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) should have thought that I accused him of being either an Imperialist or a bad Australian. I do not agree with Senator Gardiner that the clause should be negatived. When the matter was previously before the Committee I was quite willing that the Army Act should be made applicable to our Australian Forces in time of war. But I objected to its application to them in time of peace. Anything, therefore, which I said by way of interjection whilst Senator Gardiner was speaking, and which was applicable to Senator Pearce, is equally applicable to myself. We are retaining the Army Act in its application to our Australian Forces in time of war because we anticipate that if ever we are at war again we shall be at war in conjunction with the British Empire, whose Forces will be governed by that Act. I do not object to that, nor was I seeking to cast any reflection upon the attitude of the Minister when I made the interjection to which he took exception.

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