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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator ELLIOTT (Victoria) (1:46 AM) . - This clause seeks to perpetuate the injustice which is contained in our Defence Act, and to which I desired to refer when I moved the recommittal of the Defence Bill. In connexion with the appointment of officers' in the British Army, it is well known that when a boy fails in his examination for entrance to the University he is usually recommended by his schoolmaster to try for admission to Sandhurst.

Senator Payne - I thought thathe was advised to go in for the Church.

Senator ELLIOTT - No, because the clergy also are required to go through the University. I see no objection to dispensingwith an examination in the case of persons who are officers of His Majesty's regular Air Force, and who have passed an examination for the corresponding rank. Suppose, for example, that an officer of His Majesty's Air Force has passed the examination for captain, there is no reason why he should be re-examined here for the rank of captain. But I strongly object to the proposal to allow the Military Board to dispense with all examinations in the case say, of a regular second lieutenant who may come out here and get an appointment. I suggest to the Minister that the clause should be limited to the extent of dispensing with examinations only where the appointments are to positions of corresponding rank. If before he comes out here a captain has passed his examination for the next rank, there should be no objection to admitting him to that rank without further examination. But beyond that I absolutely decline to

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator suggests that the clause opens up avenues to favoritism?

Senator ELLIOTT - Otherwise I do not know what can be its object.

Senator PEARCE - I can give the honorable senator a very good reason for it, and one which he has- quite overlooked.

Senator ELLIOTT - At any rate, I am not prepared to assent to the clause in its present form.

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