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Thursday, 27 October 1904

Mr McCAY - I do not know that, in the absence of the honorable and learned member who has made this subject peculiarly his own, it would be quite fair to answer this question.

Mr Mahon - The practice has always been followed, and the honorable and learned gentleman is the first to take exception to it.

Mr McCAY - The honorable member is exceptionally critical.

Mr Mahon - Exceptionally correct.

Mr McCAY - The answers to the honorable and learned member's questions are as follow : -

1.   The expense of bringing the Senior Chaplain of the Military Forces of Australia from Sydney to consecrate the military banners at parade on the 14th March will be £6 6s. 6d., including railway fare.

2.   The prayer will be taken into consideration by all the chaplains who are to take part in the ceremony before it is finally adopted, in order that care may be exercised to see that no expression remains in it to which any denomination might take exception. When this has been done I shall have no objection to a copy of the prayer being laid on the table of the library, in order that it may be perused by those honorable members who desire to read it.

3.   There is nothing in the prayer, as it now stands, nor will there be in the prayer as finally adopted, which could not be appropriately read by the senior chaplain of Victoria, who is a Presbyterian, as by the senior chaplain of the Forces who is in New South Wales.

4.   The parade, so far as numbers are concerned, will consist almost entirely of Victorian troops, but the consecration and presentation of colours will relate to the whole of the eighteen light horse regiments in Australia, the Field Artillery of New South Wales, and the Army Medical Corps of New South Wales. Therefore, so far as the colours are concerned, the parade will be of the troops of Australia, and, consequently, the senior chaplain for Australia is to lead.

5.   An invitation is being extended to a chaplain of each denomination which has a chaplain on The forces lists of Victoria.

6.   No chaplains have been invited from other States, and none have refused to take part in the service.

7.   Care will be taken that nothing is done to infringe either the spirit or the letter of the King's regulations.

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