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Tuesday, 5 July 1904

Mr JOHNSON (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has. the attention of the Minister, of Defence been drawn to the following significant passages in MajorGeneral Hutton's report on the Defence Forces -

It may be as well to state at once that a force of the requisite strength, organized, arid capable of taking the field, does not nf present exist, in Australia, and that there are at present no local means of equipping such a force. The organization is incomplete ; the departments necessary for a mobile army have yet to be created ; :and there are neither sufficient guns, arms, equipment, nor ammunition' available. . . . The most that could be expected from the military situation at present- existing, would be the concentration of a certain number of armed -men, who, without adequate administrative departments, or the required equipment, would be quite incapable of coping with even an inferior number of an invader's troops, carefully trained, organized, and equipped with the latest modem appliances, as they unquestionably would be.

In view of the alarming character of these disclosures, coming as they do from the head of the Military Forces in Australia, does the Minister intend to formulate any proposal for putting the military defences of Australia on a more satisfactory footing?

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