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Thursday, 28 April 1921

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) .- This is merely an amplification of the existing law in regard to the resignation of officers. The proviso deals with the question df the Duntroon graduates. It sets out that, except under penalty, they shall be prevented from resigning prior to the expiration of the twelve years' service which ' they undertook to render upon entering the College. Every student admitted to that institution is obliged to subscribe to the" arrangement to which I have referred; but under the law, it is doubtful whether the agreement is binding after a graduate leaves the College and enter's our permanent Forces. ยป

Senator Earle - Oan a minor be bound?

Senator PEARCE - That is the question. Though every graduate and his parents enter into the agreement to which I have alluded, . in case of hardship, a graduate may resign under certain conditions. For instance, we might make it. a condition that he should refund some portion of the cost' of his training to which the Commonwealth has been put. Or we might say to him, "Well, under these) circumstance's, we will permit you to resign." But he cannot resign as- a matter of right. The conditions under which he may resign,, short of rendering twelve years' service, will be determined by the Military Board.

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