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Friday, 10 October 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I think the proposal is to reduce the staff by one. I may tell the honorable member, for his own satisfaction and that of other representatives of South Australia, that I have told the General Officer Commanding that, in my opinion, the instructors generally will have to be reduced by one-half. That, of course, will mean the reduction of the number of instructors in South Australia by one-half.

Mr BATCHELOR - Does the Minister consider that a reduction of the Instructional Staff by one-half is fairly carrying out his promise made when the Estimates were under consideration? That promise was that the line providing for the instructional staff in South Australia would be altogether omitted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable member must be gifted with second hearing, because I never said anything of the kind.

Mr Batchelor - The "numbers" would have been against the honorable gentleman had such a promise not been made.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE -I said then practically what I am saying to-day. I did not fix the number, but I think I led honorable members to understand ' that I presumed there would be probably a reduction by one-half. I do not think it would be just to the forces to altogether withdraw the instructors.

Mr Batchelor - That was not the idea conveyed at the time.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have done my best, and I am going a great deal further than was intended, by now asking the General Officer Commanding to make a general reduction in the instructional staff by one-half.

Sir Langdon Bonython - Can the Minister point to any remarks of his in Hansard which bears out his present statement?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I cannot very well point to any particular passage, but I do not think that the honorable member can point to any words of mine in Hansard which bear the meaning he has indicated. I never made any such statement.

Sir Langdon Bonython - I make the statement that I had the assurance from the Minister that this line in the Estimates would be struck out.

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