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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - The amendment presupposes that an officer of the Air Force has a right to promotion, but I am not aware of any provision in the Bill, or in the Defence Bill, or in the Army Act, or in the British Act governing the Air Force which gives any officer the right to promotion.

Senator Elliott - Surely good service gives that right.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I do not know any provision or regulation governing military bodies which gives any officer the right to promotion. Certainly such a right has never existed in Australia, nor so far as I can discover in Great Britain. Therefore the amendment introduces an entirely new principle, and I do not think we should hastily give to officers a right which they have not had previously.

Senator Elliott - It exists under the regulations.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The only provision in our Defence legislation, so far as I know, which gives a right in connexion with promotion is one which says that when examinations are held for the purposes of promotion, the man who gets the best results shall, on promotion, be the senior, but that does not give any man the right to promotion.

Senator Foster - Are not the Duntroon boys automatically promoted to be captains after they have served a certain number of years ?

Senator Pearce - Yes, after they -have served eight years; but they may be promoted before that.

Senator Foster - Then they have a right to promotion. -

Senator Elliott - Yes, and under the regulations the same right exists that I propose to give here.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I do not like the incorporation of this new principle in the measure in the manner proposed. If we adopt it here, a considerable revision of our defence legislawill be necessary.

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