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Wednesday, 24 September 1902

Mr O'MALLEY (TASMANIA, TASMANIA) asked the Acting Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Whether he has road in the Age the military defensive-offensive policy ?

2.   Whether, us reported in the Age, MajorGeneral Sir Edward Hutton has obtained the Minister's approval of the proposed scheme to establish the Commonwealth military forces on a defensive-offensive basis ?

3.   Does the Minister believe that the Commonwealth would be benefited by offensive operations?

4.   Does the Minister think that in the event of war between Germany and England, and in the event of Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua threatening to assist Germany, Major-General Hutton would despatch the Australian array against the nations assisting Germany ?

5.   If Germany discovered that the Australian Army was at sea, would she not immediately despatch a flying squadron to shell Melbourne or Sydney ?

6.   In the event of Germany despatching a flying squadron to Australia, would MajorGeneral Hutton be able to recall the Australian Army at sea by wireless telegraphy, or would the General have accompanied the army, and also be "at sea"?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - In reply to the honorable member's questions -

1.   No.

2.   I have not approved of any scheme for undertaking offensive operations.

3.   This would depend upon circumstances.

4.   He has no such power.

5.   That depends upon the German Emperor.

6.   I must refer the honorable member to Mr. Marconi.

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