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Tuesday, 22 July 1902

Sir JOHN QUICK (Bendigo) - I join with other honorable members in asking the Minister to give this matter serious consideration. It would be a great pity and a great blow to the service if a man of Colonel Templeton's ripe experience and sound discretion were lost to the country. He is a nian in the prime of life, and has won golden opinions.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why has he been retired ?

Sir William Lyne - Because he has passed the age limit.

Sir JOHN QUICK - There was no reason for retiring him on that account, because he receives no salary.

Sir William Lyne - A large number of other officers who are receiving practically no salary have been retired for the same reason.

Sir JOHN QUICK - Colonel Templeton has been performing his work as a labour of love. He has the confidence of the rifle clubs of the State, and it would cause great dissatisfaction if he were retired, especially as there seeme to be no good reasons why he should be. I fear that the Minister has been misinformed or misled in some way by officers occupying permanent positions, and I hope that before getting rid of Colonel Templeton he will take into consideration the views which have been put before him, not only in this House, but privately.

Mr. G.B. EDWARDS (South Sydney).This is not a question which should be left entirely to Victorian members. I acknowledge the services which Colonel Templeton has rendered to the rifle club movement in- Victoria, but before we can properly discuss this matter, we must know what scheme it is proposed to adopt for the future military defence of the Commonwealth. Without that scheme before us we cannot judge whether the Government have done right in retiring Colonel Templeton. My opinion has always been that the rifle clubs should form an integral part of the defences of the Common wealth,, and if it is necessary in order that they may . do so to retire Colonel Templeton, I am willing to agree to his retirement, brilliant and helpful as his services have been. I hoped that an announcement as to the policy of the Government in regard to defence would have been put before us much earlier in the session, but the matter has been hung up, and I believe that the Minister for Home Affairs is still grappling with it. We cannot discuss the subject of Colonel Templeton's retirement without knowing what are the proposals of the Government in regard to the whole question of defence.

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