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Tuesday, 22 July 1902

Mr CHANTER (Riverina) - I join with other honorable members in testifying to the high character and ability of Colonel Templeton. I have known him for many years, and I think it was a mistake to retire him. There is another matter which I wish to bring under the consideration of the Minister? Some time ago, an ardent desire was manifested by our young men in all the States to form themselves into rifle clubs. From my own electorate, and from other parts of the Commonwealth, requests have been sent in for permission to form these clubs, but the applicants have been put off from time to time - in one case for twelve months - and have been unable to obtain any satisfaction from the military authorities. This delayis doing great harm, because it is killing the spirit which we should cultivate among our young people in order that we may have ample reserves of good rifle shots to draw upon for the purposes of defence. The policy of the Government should be, and so far as I know is, to give every encouragement to young men to form rifle clubs, and bring themselves to a, state of efficiency as rifle shots, .so that they might readily become competent members of any military organization necessary in the case of invasion. I trust that the Minister will make a careful inquiry, and that the ardour of our riflemen will not be damped by continued delays in the organization of clubs.

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