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Tuesday, 23 September 1902

Sir LANGDON BONYTHON - I desire to ask the Acting Minister for Defence whether he is now in a position to give us particulars as to the manner in which the ten drill instructors recently sent to South Australia will occupy their time?

SirWILLIAM LYNE.- I have not full information on the subject, because I have not yet been furnished withall the particulars for which I asked, in the last minute I wrote to the General Officer Commanding. I understand that it is proposed that one drill instructor shall be stationed at Adelaide to instruct the Mounted Rifles, includingthe members of rifle clubs, and that three instructors shall be employed in drilling the infantry forces and members of rifle clubs in Adelaide. One instructor will be Stationed at Yankalilla to drill the Mounted Rifles, and two at Mount Gambier to drill the Mounted Rifles and infantry, including the members of rifle clubs. At Wallaroo there will be one instructor for the Mounted Rifles, and two for the infantry. At Jamestown one instructor will be provided for the Mounted Rifles, and at Gladstone one for the infantry. In addition to this information, I have been furnished with a report which gives particulars as to the number of places - some thirteen or fourteen in all - in the Adelaide district at which in all 731 men will receive instruction. At Yankalilla and other places in its neighbourhood 209 men will require to be drilled, and at Mount Gambier 286. The Mounted Rifles and infantry in the west central sub-district numbering 266, and in the east central sub-district numbering 794 men, will be drilled by the instructors at Wallaroo. The instructors at Jamestown and Gladstone will drill 346men in the north central sub-district, and 628 in the northern sub-district. I have also a memorandum written by the General Officer Commanding in reference to this question, but I should like the honorable member to read it for himself, because I cannot.

Sir Langdon Bonython - I should like to know whether the information which the Minister has communicated to us really means that each of these drill instructors will be engaged for only two hours per week ?

SirWILLIAM LYNE. - I have given the honorable member all the information I can. The General Officer Commanding told me that he could not give any further details at present, because arrangements for allotting the hours of duty for the drill instructors have not yet been completed. I know that the officers are endeavouring to obtain full information, and I cannot ask them to do impossibilities. As I am not a military officer, I cannot say whether or not the duties of the drill instructors will occupy them for two hours only per week.

Sir Langdon Bonython - Did not the Minister ask for that information ?

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