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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (3:35 AM) . - The honorable senator who has just resumed his seat seems to fear that by applying to our Air Force during a time of war the Imperial Act, we may possibly link up the. limitations that are naturally imposed on an air force in Great Britain - where the conditions are so much more restricted than they are here - with ourown Forces, which we expect to develop and build up under the freer conditions that obtain in Australia. I have no such fear. During peace time the limitations that may exist under the Imperial Act will in no way affect us here in Australia. It is only when a period of warobtains that we shall come under that Act. I am inclined tothink, consequently, that my honorable friend's fears in this regard are not founded on any fact concerning which we need worry ourselves to any extent. I agree with him that it is necessary that our Air Force should be built up and developed to meet the conditions that exist in Australia, and that it should not be retarded or restricted by an Act that does not have particular regard for those conditions. But since it is necessary in time: of war that our AirForce and those of other parts of the Empire should co-operate for- the purposes of defeating a common enemy, it is advisable that in time ofwar we should work under a common Act so as to have uniformity of effort. -Inasmuch as we shall have this limitation applying only during a period of war, I think the fears which the honorable senator has so lucidly expressed, despite the Hour of the morning, are more or less groundless.

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