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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - A little while ago I brought under the notice of the Minister for Defence the case of Trainee Foley, who lost pay through going on parade on the occasion of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York to Perth. On that occasion an order was sent out for the cadets to parade, and it was so worded that it was construed as a call to a compulsory parade. When, however, the cadets claimed pay for the time they had Jost from their employment, the military authorities in Perth said that it was not a compulsory parade, and refused their claim. The matter was taken up by the United Furniture Trades Industrial Union of Perth, and the Defence Department was sued for a breach of the United Furniture Trades Award. The award covering this industry shows that an apprentice shall receive pay for all time lost through attending compulsory military training except training imposed through failure to attend compulsory parade. An officer of the Defence Force who went into the witness box said -

At the time that order was written, it was fully anticipated that we would have a public holiday, and generally, when we call a voluntary parade for a public holiday, we get few attendants. It was incumbent on us at the time to get sufficient men to form a guard of honour, and the order was worded, as near as possible, in such a way as to make it a compulsory parade, without calling it a compulsory parade..... A man who absents himself from a compulsory parade is liable to prosecution.

I brought the matter before the Minister in connection with Trainee Foley, and the Minister agreed to pay the difference between his military pay and the wages he had lost. But there are other trainees similarly situated. I- ask the Minister now, seeing that he has made payment to one trainee who attended that parade, to extend the same consideration to others who are similarly situated.

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW (Queensland - Minister for Defence) [3.59]. - I remember this case which Senator Needham submitted to me. The order for the parade was worded in such a way that it might be construed as a call for a compulsory parade. I saw at once that the officer responsible for it had made a mistake, as the result of which this trainee had suffered. If others were similarly situated they will certainly be treated as was the trainee whose case was brought under my notice.

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