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Thursday, 25 August 1960

Mr Bryant t asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1.   Do members of rifle clubs take an oath of allegiance?

2.   What has been the membership of rifle clubs in each of the last ten years?

3.   What has been the cost of the clubs to the department in each of those years, and what are the components of that cost?

4.   How has the department administered the clubs?

5.   How many departmental officers are involved in each State, and what are their duties?

6.   Is the ammunition made available to the clubs taken from reserve stocks which, if not used in this way, would be discarded by the services?

7.   Are military authorities in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) the United States of America, (c) the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics still fostering civilian rifle shooting?

8.   How much money will be saved each year by the, new policy?

Mr Cramer - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   At 30th June of each year the membership was -

3.   The components of cost of maintaining rifle clubs are: - (a) Salaries and travelling of staff; (b) administrative expenses in the form of freight, fares of rifle club members, office expenses and incidentals; (c) grants paid to rifle club organizations; (d) ammunition manufactured at cost to Army vote. Details of the above costs are as follows: -

4.   In accordance with the provisions of Australian Rifle Club Regulations 1948 (Statutory Rule No. 94) the Secretary, Department of the Army, has been responsible for the administration of rifle clubs. These functions have been discharged by a Directorate of Rifle Clubs in the Central Administration and rifle club sections under the control of the Command Secretary in each command.

5.   Central Adminstration- Director of Rifle Clubs, part time. Administrative Officer, full time.

Queensland - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs; 1 Inspector of Rifle Ranges; 2 Clerks; total, 4. New South Wales - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs; 1 Inspector of Rifle Ranges; 2 Clerks; 1 Typist; total, 5. Victoria - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs; 1 Inspector of Rifle Ranges; 2 Clerks; total, 4. South Australia - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs who also performs the duties of Inspector of Rifle Ranges; 1 Clerk; total, 2. Western Australia - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs; 1 Inspector of Rifle

Ranges; 1 Clerk; total, 3. Tasmania - 1 Supervisor of Rifle Clubs; 1 Clerk; total, 2. Duties of Inspector of Rifle ranges performed by Military Staff. Total 22. The Supervisors of Rifle Clubs have been responsible for registration of clubs and members, provision of stores and ammunition, payment of grants and liaison with state rifle associations. Inspectors of Rifle Ranges carried out regular inspections of ranges to check on safety, gave technical direction for maintenance, repair and construction of ranges and certified work for which grants were paid.

6.   No. 7. (a) In the United Kingdom the National Rifle Association of Great Britain is an independent organization. It does not receive any free grants of ammunition but may purchase limited quantities of aged or reject stocks at a concession price of £10 sterling per 1,000 rounds. Clubs pay rent to the War Department for use of military ranges and receive rent from service units using rifle club owned ranges. Cb) In the United States of America rifle club activities are controlled by a Directorate of Civiliain Marksmanship. This organization registers all clubs and allots an annual free grant of 13,000,000 rounds of service rifle ammunition which is made avail-able from Army stocks, (c) It is not known whether military authorities in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics foster civilian rifle shooting, (which is, however, known to be included in the programme of sporting activities sponsored by the State).

8.   Taking 1959-60 as a base year, the estimated annual savings under the new policy until 1965-66, when the Rifle Club movement is to become self- supporting, will be:- 1960-61, £73,517; 1951-62, £120,542; 1962-63, £152,567; 1963-64, £184,592; 1964-65, £216,617.

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