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Thursday, 20 October 1904

Mr MAUGER - I desire to say that it was in no spirit of levity that I just now asked the Minister a question by interjection. It was with the full recognition of the value of prayer that I submitted the question, and I again ask it, because it seems to me improper to talk of consecration under such circumstances. I again ask, has such a ceremony as that proposed ever been performed in Australia?

Sir John Forrest - Yes; 1 have seen it performed.

Mr McCAY - I do not know, but I should say almost certainly "Yes." The regiments with which I am most familiar have not. since I have been connected with the Forces, been fortunate enough to possess colours. The colours that are to be consecrated are practically King's colours. I feel quite sure that similar ceremonies have taken place before, but even if they had not, there is no reason why the colours which have now been presented to the Defence Forces should not be consecrated.

Mr CROUCH - I asked the Minister a question, to which he has not replied. Of course, if he refuses to reply, I have no remedy.

Mr McCay - I did not intentionally fail to give an answer.

Mr CROUCH - I asked whether the Minister had any objection to allow any denomination which is not represented by a chaplain, or any denomination which, representing taxpayers, is non-Christian, to be present at the consecration of these banners ?

Mr McCAY - I do not propose to invite any denomination to be officially represented at the consecrationof the banners, except those which have chaplains in the Forces.

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