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Friday, 27 October 1905

Senator PLAYFORD (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow : -

1.   They may join a rifle club as honorary members, but not as active members.

I understand that an opinion was given some time ago by the Attorney-General and the Crown Law officers that, as the police take an oath to serve the State, they cannot very well take an oath to ako serve the Commonwealth, because they, would be serving two masters. The difficulty of serving two masters is very great, and that is why the police are only called honorary members.

2.   Yes.

Senator Dobson - May they receive the advantages ?

Senator PLAYFORD - They receive the rounds of ammunition., and all other advantages which are enjoyed by active members.

Senator Dobson - In the statement I gave the Minister it was denied that thev did.

Senator PLAYFORD - I cannot help what the author of that statement denied. I am informed by my officers that the honorary members do receive all the advantages of the rifle clubs, and that is the only answer I can give.

Senator Millen - A policeman by any other name would shoot as straight.

Senator PLAYFORD - Yes; but he could not very well serve two masters. If on any occasion the State said to a policeman, "You must perform a certain duty for us," and the Commonwealth said to him, as a member of a rifle club, " You are required to perform a certain duty," the orders might clash, and therefore these men are not called active members.

Senator Clemons - Does the honorable senator think that he would be serving two masters under those circumstances?

Senator PLAYFORD - Undoubtedly. 3- No.

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