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Thursday, 12 May 1921


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - This proposed new section refers only to persons who have been committed by a magistrate to the custody of the military authorities. The magistrate should, after committing an offender to the custody of the military authorities, issue a warrant authorizing them to detain the offender. Hitherto, magistrates have not been required to issue warrants. The proposed section is considered necessary because these cases are very often dealt with by the unpaid magistracy, which, consists, no doubt, of a splendid body ofmen, but all of whom are not learned in the law. When a conviction, is . recorded, the magistrate commits the trainee to. the custody of the military authoritiesto undergo the period of detention he has imposed. The new section provides that, in addition, he shall issue a warrant to the authorities to hold the cadet committed to their custody. If a magistrate does not issue a warrant, we still require authority to hold the trainee until the omission is rectified. The warrant is required for the protection of the Department in case of legal proceedings. If any one suffers because a warrant is not issued it will be the Defence Department. In practically all cases warrants will be issued, but if any magistrate has overlooked the necessity forissuing a warrant, we shall still want to be able to hold the trainee.







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