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Tuesday, 26 August 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I did read that statement, and I was very much surprised that an article containing so many inaccuracies should have been published in the Age. The statement that the work of creating new billets has been going forward at a merry pace in the Defence department is entirely incorrect. There have been no new billets created in the sense that the number of permanently employed officers and noncommissioned officers has been increased beyond the number existing at the time the departments were taken over by the Commonwealth. The contrary is the fact. Instead of the permanent appointments being increased, they are being considerably decreased. The number of commissioned officers, even when the General and his staff are included, will . be at least 1 5 less than the number which existed last year. With the retirements now made it is actually 31 less at the present moment. The number of warrant officers - instructors - will be 48 less. The total numberof permanently employed commissioned officers provided for last year was 132, and of warrant officers, permanent instructors, 253. The numbers being provided for this year are - officers 117, instructors 205. There are sixteen vacancies at present, and some of these may be filled and some may not. In the naval forces the officers have also been reduced in number, the services of seven permanently employed officers having been terminated.

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