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Friday, 22 April 1921

Senator GARDINER (NEW SOUTH WALES) - (By leave.)When addressing myself to the Defence Bill yesterday afternoon I made the following statement : -

The expenditure would be less, and the result more satisfactory.

I went on to say -

I think it was in this Chamber or in another place that an officer said that a man going: into action atGallipoli informed him that he had never had the opportunity of firing a rifle.

Senator Cox - I do not think that statement is correct.

Senator GARDINER - I am merely repeating what I have beard.

Senator Cox - I think it is a deliberate lie.

Senator GARDINER - I am trying to repeat something that is in my mind to demonstrate the inefficiency of our training system.

I now wish to read for the information of honorable senators what was in my mind. I quote from the Sydney Morning Herald of 2nd April, 1921, words from an address delivered by Sir Brudenell White. He said -

He had many sad recollections of the war, but none more sad than the recollection of an episode prior to the operations in August at Gallipoli, in which ourgreat attack at Suvla and our operations at Lone Pinewere carried out. He remembered seeing some men who had arrived only a few days before as reinforcements. He . remembered one of the men saying to him, "Do you think this is a fair thing? '! He replied, " How do you mean? " The answer was, " Do you think it is fair to put us into action with the amount of training we have had?" "Bow much training have you bad?" he asked. One man informed him that he had five weeks in Egypt, bad fired his rifle only once, and had never thrown a bomb. Another man had been six weeks in Egypt, and, according to his story, had fired his rifle only twice. Upon all of them in authority, proceeded the lecturer, there rested an enormous responsibility.

I direct attention to that statement because I think honorable senators will, upon hearing it read, agree that my remarks were a sufficiently accurate report of it not to be termed "a deliberate lie."

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That remark was not applied to the honorable senator.

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