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Friday, 17 November 1905


Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - In moving -

That the Bill be now read a second time,

I wish to thank honorable senators who have refrained from speaking upon the first reading of the measure for affording me the opportunity of submitting this motion this afternoon. They will thus be enabled to secure an early copy of my speech, and as a result will be in a position to continue the discussion upon the Bill when we re-assemble on Wednesday next. I propose to divide my remarks into two parts. In the first portion of my address, I shall deal with the Estimates contained in the schedule of the measure, and in the second I shall deal solely with the important question of defence. I intend to point out to honorable senators the forces that we took over from the States, their strength at the present time, and what my officers say we require. I shall then offer some comments on the organization scheme of Major-General Hutton and the recommendations of Captain Creswell in reference to the defence of our harbors. I shall also deal with some criticisms which have been made by the Colonial Defence Committee. I find that the estimated revenue for 1904-5 was £11,570,000, whilst the actual receipts were £11,460,315, a shortage of £109,685. In dealing with such a large amount, I think that we may fairly congratulate the late Treasurer upon his very close estimate. We are only sorry that he rather over-estimated than underestimated the revenue. The cause of that shortage is, however, easily explained. In the first place, the Customs receipts declined by £180,000. Singularly enough, that was accounted for almost entirely by the decrease in the amount collected in New South Wales. Of the total shortage of £180,000 that State contributed £126,000. My officers are unable to assign any reason for this decrease; but I may add that it occurred principallyin connexion with stimulants. It seems to me that, just prior to the commencement of the financialyear, the importers must have takenout of bond a larger quantity of stimulants than they expected to consume. The principal increase in the revenue consisted of £70,000 in the Post and Telegraph Department. To that increase New South Wales contributed the sum of £45,000. The revenue estimated by the present Treasurer for the current year is £11,387,605, or £72,000 less than was received last year. The Customs, he estimates, will produce £116,000 less than the amount collected in 1904-5. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that last year £50,000 was credited to revenue on account of sugar excise collected in previous years, but held in a trust fund, having been paid in under protest. Then it is anticipated that there will be an additional falling off in the sugar revenue of about £21,000, owing to the increased production of Australian sugar. Of course, that amount may be increased or decreased, as the result of any action which this Parliament may take in extending the term during which the sugar bounty shall be operative. If, as has 'been suggested, the Excise duty is increased to £4 per ton, we shall receive an additional revenue. But whether the Treasurer's estimate is realized will entirely depend upon the legislation which we enact. The receipts from the special Western Australian Tariff will "probably how a further decline of £65,000. Honorable senators will recollect that the Constitution provides that for five years the Western Australian Tariff shall continue in operation against imports from the other States. That Tariff disappears to the extent of one-fifth each year. From the 8th October, 1905, to the 7th October, 1 906, only one-fifth of the State duty is chargeable, the special Tariff ceasing finally to operate from the 8th October, 1906. If the sugar duties, and the amounts that will be collected under the special Western Australian Tariff are eliminated, it will be found that upon all other Customs and Excise duties an increase of £19,000 is expected. In Postal revenue an increase of £51,000 is anticipated. Last year the receipts from this source were £2,631,000, and this year they are estimated at £2,682,000. The estimated expenditure for 1904-5 was £4,433,233, and the actual expenditure was £4,3-<&A35, or £114,798 less than, the estimate, of which £67,000 is accounted for by works and buildings, which were not proceeded with, owing to the late period of the session when the Appropriation Bill was passed. This year we have obviated a'_ recurrence of that sort of thing by passing, at a comparatively early stage of the session, a Works and Buildings Bill. We have divided our Estimates into two parts, the first relating to new works and buildings, and the second to the ordinary expenditure of the year. The estimated expenditure in this connexion is£4,6o6,273, or an increase of £287,838, as compared with the expenditure of last year. I will show honorable senators how that increase is made up. In the Postal Department there is an increase of £90,000, of which £52,000 is on account of oversea mail contracts. It will be remembered that for a short period our mails were carried upon the poundage system, but that subsequently we entered into a contract with the Orient Steam Navigation Company. That contract accounts for £52,000 of the increased expenditure. Then an increased expenditure of £82,000 is provided for new works which we have already sanctioned. In the Defence Department, there is an increase of £91,000, of which one contribution under the Naval Agreement represents £52,000. There is an estimated increased expenditure of £25,000 in connexion with the sugar bounty. The expenditure upon Parliament we have s.et down at £30,176, or £1,000 more than was expended last vear.- I am informed that it is almost impossible to estimate the exact expenditure upon Parliament, because it is entirely dependent upon the length of the session. The estimated expenditure in the Department of External Affairs is £42,498. This is £2,500 more than was voted last year, and is accounted for by an increase of £3,000 on account of the mail service to the 'Pacific Islands. There are some non-recurring items which reduce that excess bv '£500, thus making the increase over the expenditure of last year, £2,500. The anticipated expenditure upon the Department in question, leaving out of consideration the mail service to the Pacific Islands is about £500 less than the actual expenditure last year. In the Attorney-General's Department, provision is made for an expenditure of £8,969, which is practically the same as last year. In that Department there is nothing which calls for comment. In the Department of Home Affairs the anticipated expenditure is £173,351, or an increase of £6,856 as compared with the actual expenditure last year. We account for that by an increase of £14,000 in public works, which is practically balanced by a saving of £13,000 in expenses under the Electoral Act. Honorable senators will notice that there is a new item of £5,000 set down for the establishment of a Statistical Bureau. We have already passed an Act providing for the collection of statistics, and, of course, we shall have to pay for that service. The remainder of the increase is made up of small items. The amount provided on the Estimates for the Treasurer's Department is £317,937. This includes' the vote for the Department £37,937, which is £5,000 less than the sum provided last year. It also includes refunds to revenue amounting to £80,000, being £48,000 in excess of last year's refunds. The increase was due to the revenue from foreign telegrams being now collected in stamps-, and necessitating a vote in order to pay the proportion due to the Eastern Extension Company and the Pacific Cable Board. Previously the Department collected cash in respect of cable messages, and the proportions to which the Eastern Extension Company and the Pacific Cable Board were entitled having been paid, the balance went into the general revenue. Under the new system, all the money derived from the sale of these stamps is paid into the revenue.


Senator Pulsford - Will not the change lead to misleading comparisons?


Senator PLAYFORD - I do not think so. I think that the arrangement is a very fair one.


Senator Pulsford - I agree that that is so.


Senator PLAYFORD - It seems to me that the present system is the best that could be adopted.


Senator Pulsford - But under it we add so many thousands of pounds to the revenue.


Senator PLAYFORD - And that is balanced by the amount which we add to the expenditure. If I were Treasurer,, I should certainly prefer to have the total amount so collected paid into the Treasury, and refunds them made to the Pacific Cable Board and the Eastern Extension Company.


Senator Pulsford - Is a large sum involved ?


Senator PLAYFORD - I have not the figures at hand.


Senator Best - It would not account for the £45,000 which the honorable senator mentioned as the surplus shown by the Postal Department io New South Wales.


Senator PLAYFORD - Certainly not. That item relates really to an increase of business. The vote for this Department also includes advance vo the Treasurer, £200,000, the same amount as last year. The vote for the Customs Department is £269,620, showing an increase of £4,000, which is made up chiefly of increases in the salary vote, vacancies not having been filled last year. I come now to the Estimates of Defence. Apart altogether from the cost of new works and buildings and the sum of £200,000 paid in respect of the NavalAgreement, we expended last year on defence £558,503. That represents the Defence expenditure to be found in these Estimates. It does not include the items which we have voted in respect of defence works such as fortifications at Fremantle or special defence material, which represents an expenditure of some £200,000. The estimated expenditure for this year is £591>43i> being an increase of £32,928. I mav say that' although the amount actually expended last year on defence was ;£558>5°3>i £hel sum actually voted was £592.127, or a little more than we are now asked to vote for the present year. As a matter of fact, however, £32,000 out of the .sum voted last year was not expended.


Senator Best - Does the Treasurer draw a sharp line in respect of receipts and payments up to 30th June of each year', or does he adopt the system of some of the States, and permit payments to be made up to the 31st August of each vear?


Senator PLAYFORD - We' draw -a sharp line. and commence the financial year on 1st July. In- connexion with the consideration of the Estimates in another place, I prepared a statement for the VicePresident of the Executive Council, who deals with defence- matters in that House, and perhaps I may be allowed to make a few extracts from that memorandum. I pointed out that -

For the financial year 1904-5, the appropriation for the Defence Department amounted to £592,127. The expenditure was £558,503, showing a saving of £33,624. A saving of £30,000 was anticipated on the Defence vote, and £14,000 on the vote for Additions, New Works, and Buildings under the control of the Department of Home Affairs, and this total saving of £44,000 was, by permission of the Treasurer, utilized to purchase special Defence material, making the expenditure on that vote, Division 6/1, £174,000.

It will thus be seen that the savings which we effected were utilized for special defence material. The Defence Estimates for the year 1905-6 amount to £591, 431, or a decrease of £696 on the Estimates of last year. I also stated in this memorandum that -

The new system, of administration and control of the Defence .Forces under the Defence Acts 1903-4 came into operation on the I 2 th January, 1905, consisting of a Council of Defence -

The Council of Defence has met on only one occasion, and even1 then arrived at no conclusion - a Naval Board, a Military Board, an InspectorGeneral of the Military Forces, and a Director of the Naval Forces. This practically amalgamated the Civil and Military Branches of the Defence Administration.

I then proceeded to deal with other matters which it is unnecessary for me to discuss at this stage. The Estimates as introduced in another place made provision for the payment of gratuities to Colonel Price and Lt. -Col. Bayly, but those items were withdrawn. Dealing with the Naval Forces, I stated in this memorandum that -

As was done last year, provision is again made under Division 43, Subdivision 2, New South Wales Naval Forces, for ^'1,000 for Continuous Training in the gunboat Pro'tector. At present, there is no vessel available to afford any means for the drilling and instruction of the Naval Brigade at Sydney, and it is proposed to again send the Protector from South Australia to Sydney for a certain period, when the members of the New South Wales Naval Forces will be drilled on board. Last year's training was highly successful.

We have provided for an additional officer tor the permanent force in Victoria, and have made a few other minor additions. Turning to the Estimates for the- Military Forces and central administration, honorable senators will find that there is a net decrease of £3,045, as compared with last year's vote. That decrease includes a reduction of £2,557 in. respect of the Militia Forces, and £2,562 in relation to the volunteers. The amount voted' last year under these two heads was considerably in excess of requirements, and after looking through the papers, I found that we could make considerable savings im respect to them. Although we have increased the personnel bv a few hundred men, we have decreased the vote for these two arms of the service, not only because .the full amount voted last vear was not expended, but because the ration bill will be less than was that for last year. There is a decrease of £8,514 in respect of artillery ammunition, the necessary supplies having been obtained under the vote passed last year. There is also a decrease of £9,470 in respect of warlike stores; the amount voted under this heading last year, together with the savings utilized in purchasing special defence material, having enabled us to effect this reduction. I have dealt now with the principal decreases. Honorable senators will find that there is an increase in the Estimates for cadets. Major-General Hutton, on several occasions, referred to the desirableness of establishing a cadet corps throughout the Commonwealth, but practically nothing was done to give effect to bis proposal. A Committee, consisting of expert officers, drew up a scheme in which it was proposed that we should take over the cadet corps of the States, and spend a considerable sum upon the movement. Lt. -Col. McCay, on taking office as Minister of Defence, arrived at the conclusion that the scheme would be far too expensive, and he, therefore, prepared a memorandum in which a new scheme was outlined, and Hid it before the Hobart Conference. His memorandum was read at that Conference, and largely approved of. On taking office, however, I arrived at the conclusion, as the result of careful inquiry, that nothing could be done under this scheme until special Acts rehiring to it had been passed bv the Parliaments of all the States. I saw that that would necessitate the scheme remaining m abeyance for an indefinite period, and T. therefore, determined to depart from it bv striking out the provision for compulsory service.


Senator Dobson - The honorable senator has killed the scheme.


Senator PLAYFORD - I know that my honorable friend will take exception to my action, but I hold that it is unnecessary to provide for compulsory service. We can get boys to join cadet corps without any compulsion.


Senator Dobson - That is not so.


Senator PLAYFORD - We have experienced no difficulty in inducing them to join cadet corps. Would it not be idle to ask the States Parliaments to pass a Bill making it compulsory for school teachers to join corps, and also for schoolboys above a certain ase to join those corps when we can secure the enlistment of the lads without any difficulty. It would have been im- possible to carry out Lt. -Col. McCay's scheme for some years.


Senator Best - What is the strength of our cadet corps? If we had the figures we should be able to tell at once whether or not compulsion was necessary.


Senator Dobson - We have nearly 9,000 cadets, whilst New Zealand has 12,000.


Senator PLAYFORD - Perhaps Senator Dobson is more familiar with the figures than I am. I am informed that there is not the slightest difficulty in inducing lads to join cadet corps. It will be necessary, of course, to incur certain expense in respect of the payment of instructors. All school teachers are not capable of giving instruction, and some expense must be incurred in affording the necessary training. Some of the States are not prepared to incur that expense. In South Australia, there is a small company of cadets in connexion with a school, the head master of which takes an interest in the movement. There are also senior cadet corps associated with Prince Alfred College, St. Peter's College, and the Christian Brothers' College. These institutions have an excellent body of 400 or 500 senior cadets, and it is my intention to establish junior and senior cadet corps throughout the States.


Senator O'Keefe - The Commonwealth would pay any expense incurred by the States in respect of the instruction of cadets. That would be Defence expenditure.


Senator PLAYFORD - The number of cadets in the Commonwealth is as follows : - In New South Wales, there are 3,9 1 9 cadets under the State, and only 50 under the Commonwealth ; in Victoria, there are 3, 793 cadets under the Commonwealth, and none under [the State It was in Victoria that the cadet movement was first started:, at the instance of the late Senator Sargood, and it has, been so successful that it has -caused us all to consider the advisability of extending the system to the other States, and placing the management in the Commonwealth, so that it shall be under, one control. In Queensland, there are 958 cadets under the Commonwealth ; in South Australia, there are none under the Commonwealth ; in Western Australia, there are 1,200 under the State, and none under the Commonwealth ; while in Tasmania there are 206 under the Commonwealth. There are, therefore, 5,007 cadets under the Commonwealth, and 5,119 cadets under the States; making, a total of to,i26. This number could, how- ever, be very considerably increased. For instance, in South Australia, there are 400 or 500 senior cadets, and these could be very considerably increased. I have here a statement on the subject -

In March, 1904, a committee of officers recommended a scheme, providing for 23,000 uniformed cadets at an estimated annual expenditure °f £3°>700i and a further expenditure of £24,000 for arms and equipment.

That was the Committee's recommendation, to which I alluded just' now.

This scheme was considered too expensive by the late Minister for Defence, who proposed classes for elementary military instruction at all schools in the Commonwealth, at which the attendance of boys over twelve years of age should be compulsory, and compulsory training for all male teachers in State schools, and a teacher in all private schools, in the Commonwealth.

Of course, we could not compel private teachers to come under the Commonwealth without the authority of an Act of Parliament.

The cost of this scheme was estimated for 60,000 boys, at the end of five years, and after providing rifles, at from £22,000 for the first year, to £43,500 at the end of the five years.

Before anything of a practical nature could be achieved it is necessary that legislative action should be taken by both Commonwealth and State Parliaments, and, in order that something should be done at once to secure uniformity in connexion with the existing cadet movement in the respective States, the Government has invited 'the various State Governments to send representatives from their Education Departments to meet Commonwealth representatives to discuss the preliminary questions and submit recommendations which could lead to some practical working basis being determined. i am in hopes that this conference will take place shortly.

The Conference will take place either today or to-morrow.


Senator Dobson - Has the Minister sent any military officers to it?


Senator PLAYFORD - I have sent Colonel' Hoad to represent my Department, and the Premier of each State has sent a representative.


Senator Dobson - State school inspectors have gone to the Conference.


Senator PLAYFORD - I believe that the -States are sending some school inspectors, who have taken an interest in this movement.


Senator Dobson - Has the Minister only one military officer there?


Senator PLAYFORD - We do not want any more than one. The Commonwealth will, I am sure, be ably represented by Colonel Hoad. We did not want to frighten the States by filling the Conference with a number of military officers. Why should we have a number of military officers there ? We are represented by one military nian, who has consulted with me on the matter, has worked out a scheme, is, prepared to submit definite plans, and, like an intelligent man, will be ready, I hope, to make a compromise if it be thought advisable after consultation with the local authorities.


Senator Dobson - The Minister has forgotten that ten military officers attended before, and that he rejected their scheme.


Senator PLAYFORD - Yes, but the States were not interested in that Conference. Those military officers never worked with the States, but here we are asking the States to co-operate with us. Is it not a more sensible plan to work with the States than to go to them and Fay, " We intend to do so-and-so, and you will have to come in whether you like it or not." The plan I have adopted under the circumstances is the preferable one, and it has been adopted because I believe thai it will lead to good results. I anticipate that the Education Departments of the States wilt be found working in the greatest harmony with the Commonwealth, and that we shall be prepared to take over their cadets, give them certain facilities, spend a little^ more money upon them, and make the system more perfect than it has been. If I had not taken this course, probably we should have been talking about the cadet movement until doomsday. I wish to do something practical. When the Premiers of the States said to me, "You have had this question discussed1 and re-discussed, but no definite plan has been submitted." I replied, " Here is a definite plan; I ask you each to cooperate with me, and to send a representative of your State to a Conference in which all the States will be represented." The Premier of each State has chosen the best representative he could find; the Conference is about to be held, and I hope that by the commencement of next year we shall be able to take over the cadets, and that a portion of the £7,000 which has been voted, if not the whole of it, will be expended on the system. I think I have said enough about the cadets. I have here an interesting return, which shows how the expenditure upon defence in the States has been apportioned. With the exception of a small sum for new works and buildings, each State was charged with the expenditure on military defence within its bounds, until lately, when, certainly to the very great benefit of Western Australia, it was resolved- that the expenditure on new works and buildings, such as the erection of forts, should be charged to the States on a per capita basis. Under the previous system of appropriation a very small sum was charged on a per capita basis, and of course the bulk of the expenditure was debited to the State in which it was incurred. I wish to show how it would work out if all expenditure were charged on a per capita basis. I have the Estimates for 1905-6, but perhaps it will be better for me to give the actual figures for 1904-5. New South Wales had to pay £324,015, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been £348,710, making a difference of less than £2,000. Victoria had to pay £306,025, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been £289,686. Queensland had to pay £144,913, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been only £124,819, showing that she would have gained a trifle. South Australia had to pay £82,341, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been £89,251. Western Australia had to pay £55,762, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been £57,975. Tasmania had to pay £40,485, but on a per capita basis the amount would have been £43,100. In that year the total expenditure for the Commonwealth was £953,541. The return shows that whether the defence expenditure be debited on a per capita basis or partly on that basis and parti v on the basis of each State being charged for the expenditure on the transferred properties, it would make very little difference. I now come to the Department of the PostmasterGeneral. .In 1904-5, the actual expenditure was £2,505,634, and the estimated expenditure for 1905-6 is £2,578,838, showing an increase of £73,204. On ocean mails there is an increased expenditure of £52,000. As regards inland mails, greater facilities are being given in various parts of the Commonwealth. We have had to let extra contracts, and the result is that the expenditure on inland mails shows an increase of £7,000. On salaries there is an increase of £21,000. The gross increase is £80,000, but there is a decrease of £8,000 under the head of contingencies, which leaves the net increase at £72,000. The increase on salaries appears to be very large. But it is due to the operation of the minimum wage provision to a certain extent, and also to the holding over of a number of increments which will have to be paid this year under the Public Service regulations.


Senator Dobson - I rea.d some statements to the effect that all contract postoffices in Victoria were going to be put on the same basis, with a salary of £60 a year attached to each, but are not the salaries of contract postmasters regulated according, to the business, done? Surely the Government are not going to put them all on the one basis, as if the offices were all of the same importance.


Senator PLAYFORD - As I do not manage this Department, the honorable and learned senator can hardly expect me to give detailed information, but if he desires I shall obtain- an answer to his question. I have here only the information that has been supplied to me by the Department, and I have no special knowledge on the subject to which he refers.


Senator Guthrie - Is there no proposal for a universal penny postage?


Senator PLAYFORD - There is not the slightest hope of getting universal penny postage unless we are prepared to make up a loss of £300,000 a year. We are not prepared to recommend its adoption at the present time, because the loss is far more than we could afford to bear.


Senator Dobson - What would be the loss on a Commonwealth penny postage?


Senator PLAYFORD - I am not aware of the exact amount which would be lost bv the establishment of penny postage throughout the Commonwealth. Before I enter upon the second part of my speech, I desire to. say a few words about military education. We have no' means of training our officers in .military schools. In America, Canada, and other parts of the world, there are special classes for training officers for both military and naval purposesThe matter has, of course, been considered ; but, in view of our small force, and therefore the small number of officers required, it is felt that the expense attendant on the establishment of a military school would be too great. On the 10th October, 1905, however, a communication was received from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, conveying certain proposed amended regulations of the Advisory Board on Military Education,' in the United Kingdom;, for the appointment of University candidates to commissions in the Army, and asking how far it was possible to assimilate the rules for Colonial candidates with those for militia and University candidates at. home. The question is whether we are prepared to establish a professorship at each of our Universities, so that instruction in tactics and a general militaryeducation may be imparted, with the intention of holding examinations for commissions, not only in the local forces, but in the Imperial Army. I am informed that replies were received from the Universities of Melbourne and Adelaide, expressing their inability to provide instruction in military subjects as prescribed by the Imperial regulations. The Sydney University, however, offered to establish courses of instruction in military subjects, with the co-operation of the Defence Department, which would not only make provision for candidates, for commissions in the Imperial Army, but would be of a suitable character for the training of officers of the local Military Forces;. The Commonwealth Government has approved of the acceptance of this offer, and the details of the scheme are now being arranged between the Senate of the University and officers of the Department. I believe that Colonel Bridges is now in Sydney for the purpose of consulting with the Chancellor of the University, it will be noticed that the words "co-operation of the Defence Department " are used ; but the co-operation required is, I am given to understand, very small. It is proposed to establish a Chair at a cost of £800 per vear, which will probably mean £600 for a professor, and £100 each for two military officers,, who will assist in giving the necessary instruction. All that is required is that the Commonwealth shall provide a little ammunition for practice, and it is estimated that this will not cost more than £200 per annum. Under the circumstances, I think the suggestion a satisfactory one, which we might adopt. The expense of establishing a military school of our own will .'be saved for the present, although the time will come when, as in Canada and the United States, there must be an establishment of the kind provided for the training of . our own officers. As I say, I regard the arrangement suggested as very satisfactory, inasmuch as it will afford a means of training officers, not only for the Imperial Army, but for the local forces. Honorable senators wall recollect that in the Works and Appropriation Bill we had before us a little time ago certain expenditure was proposed under the head " Special Defence Material." I asked honorable senators to pass those items as they stood, although I said at the time that I had never seen them until they were laid on the table in another place, when it was too late to make any alteration. I, at the same time, told honorable senators that I did not approve of certain of the items of expenditure, considering that too much was to be expended on saddle-trees, stirrups, and bits, whilst no expenditure at all was proposed for either magazine rifles or cordite, both of which are urgently required. I pointed out that the Commonwealth was in the possession of guns which could not be used in practice owing to the want of suitable ammunition ; and1 as cordite and rifles are absolutely necessary, and saddle-trees and similar material can be Manufactured in this country when wanted, I deemed it advisable to devote the money to the purchase of proper warlike stores. I undertook to place before honorable senators a revised statement of the way in which it was proposed to expend the sum of money set down in the Works Appropriation Bill under the heading " special warlike material." That revised statement I have with me, and shows that, as compared with the previously proposed expenditure of £32,500 on accoutrements, and £10,250 on saddle-trees, stirrups, and bits, it is now proposed to spend only £1:6.250 on the two items combined, and that the proposed expenditure of £22,500 for making saddles is omitted


Senator O'Keefe - Are not any saddles wanted ?


Senator PLAYFORD - There are now quite enough saddles for a peace footing, and no doubt in time of war additional saddles could be made in Australia.


Senator O'Keefe - We desire to know who was responsible for placing that item in the Works Appropriation Bill.


Senator PLAYFORD - I shall not say who was responsible.


Senator O'Keefe - Whoever he is, he is not fit for his position.


Senator PLAYFORD - At all events, I did not approve of the item. The saving to which I have just directed attention will be devoted to buying 8,000 magazine Lee-Enfield rifles, at a cost of £34,000, and cordite charges for big guns, at a cost of £15,000. I' promised honorable senators an opportunity to discuss these revised proposals, of which I hope they will' express their approval by their votes'. I nowcome to that part of my statement which I consider the most important, namely, that dealing with the Military Defences of the Commonwealth. As I at first informed honorable senators that I. intended to set out the military forces, fixed defences, and naval defences that were taken over by the Commonwealth, and the strength of the forces and condition of the defences at the present time, with further information as to what my officers consider necessary to place the defence on a proper footing," and the estimated cost. That, I think, is about the most intelligible way in which I can bring the matter before the Senate. In dealing with the organization of the land forces and their equipment, Major-General Hutton had to consider the probable number and force of an invading enemy, and in his report dated the 14th May, 1903, dealing with the strategical importance of the proposed transcontinental railway, he said -

As long as the supremacy of the sea is in the hands of the Royal Navy, no serious attack on Austra'ia upon a large scale may be considered as practicable.. In this regard little attention need be paid to the temporary and local effect of a mid by one or two of an enemy's ships upon one or other of the undefended ports. It would, however, be the height of folly to disregard the possibility of the supremacy of the sea .being temporarily or permanently lost.

It will be noticed that Major-General Hutton warns us that we must not be too sanguine that Great Britain wall always maintain the supremacy of the sea, and that we must be prepared for contingencies -

It is impossible to. foresee the result of naval warfare in the future, or to anticipate the effect of fleets acting on the part of a combination of great powers hostile to British Imperial interests. In the event, therefore, of the supremacy of the sea being either temporarily or permanently lost by either of the foregoing possible contingencies, an attack on a large scale might be attempted with every reasonable chance of success, either on the shores of Western Australia or on ' some other part of the immense coast line of the Australian continent. It may be assumed that no power or combination of powers would undertake an attack of such magnitude without employing from 20,000 to 50,000 well equipped, well trained, and wel' organized troops, according to the extent of the contemplated operations.

Tq meet the force which Major-General

Hutton anticipated, the following provision is made: -

In organizing the forces, Major-General Hutton took a step which I am inclined to think was not wise. He discouraged volunteers,, turning a number of the regiments into militia; so that honorable senators when, later on, I come to deal with the Volunteer Force, will observe a great d; crease :n the numbers as compared with those under the States' management.


Senator Matheson - Major-General Hutton said he did that because militia could be sent abroad on active service.


Senator PLAYFORD - I do not think that was the reason, although I believe he did originally recommend that the militia should be of such a character that a goodly portion of it might be sent away to help the Imperial Forces in other parts of the world.


Senator Matheson - That is what I mean.


Senator PLAYFORD - But the Government did. not approve of the idea. I believe Major-General Hutton discouraged volunteers as a result of the views expressed by the Colonial Defence Committee, whose report evidently impressed him. In a memorandum by the Colonial Defence Committee, on the 30th March, 1901, they say : -

With the exception of this nucleus of permanent troops, the Military Forces should consist entirely of troops serving on the partially-paid system. This system has been found by long experience to be better suited to the conditions of Australia than the unpaid system.

That is the volunteer system.

The strength and efficiency of unpaid forces in Australia have always proved far too dependent on temporary and personal causes. There have been frequent instances of rapid expansions of the cadres at times of public enthusiasm, to be followed only by equally sudden cessation of activity, entailing discouragement and waste, when the immediate crisis has passed away, while the constant elements of instability have been such that it appears to have been the unanimous opinion of all officers of wide Australian experience, f rom the time of Sir Peter Scratchley to the present day, that a high and uniform standard of efficiency cannot be attained under the purely volunteer system. The Commonwealth Government would be well advised to aim at the organization of a homogeneous force, in which the actual loss of time devoted to military service is to some extent compensated for by money payments, rather than to countenance the continuance side by side of both the partially-paid and purely volunteer systems, with their conflicting claims on the support of the Government. To avoid misconception, it may be advisable to add that so long as the essential characteristics of the partiallypaid system are adhered to, the precise designation o± the non-permanent portion of the Military Forces is a matter of secondary importance, and if (here is a sentimental preference for the term Volunteer Force, there is no special reason why that title should not be conceded.


Senator Guthrie - The Scottish Volunteer regiments,, which consist solely of volunteers, are as efficient as any other.


Senator PLAYFORD - Some of the States previously paid small sums to volunteers. The report of the Colonial Defence Committee in regard to ammunition is as follows : -

Defence Committee consider that small arms should be provided for 50 per cent, over establishment and reserves of men - 500 rounds of ammunition per small arm, in addition to an ample supply for practice.

I come now to a comparison of the numbers of the forces we took over from the States with the numbers at the present time. On the transfer of the Defence Department to the Commonwealth on March 1st, 1 901, we took over 1,682 permanent men. 15,831 militia, and 12,109 volunteers, or a total of 29,622 men. I can supply honorable senators with the exact strength for the various States, but perhaps those figures are not necessary. On the Estimates for last year we provided for 22,440 men. On the Estimates for this year we provide for 1,360 permanent men, or 322 less than the number taken over from the States; 16,540 militia, about 1,000 more than the number taken over f rom, the States, arid .5,850 volunteers as against 12,109 taken over from the other States, a decrease of 6,259 men-


Senator Dobson - There is the voluntary system for you.


Senator PLAYFORD - The decrease in the number of volunteers is due evidently to the discouragement given to this arm of the force by Major-General Hutton.


Senator Matheson - They have been forcibly turned into militia.


Senator PLAYFORD - To a certain extent they have become militia. On the present Estimates we provide for a total of 23,750 men, and we took over from the States a total of 29,622 ; so that we now provide for 5,872 men less than the number taken over from the States.


Senator Dobson - Are not the volunteers now receiving payment?


Senator PLAYFORD - They are not receiving payment ; but they involve certain expense. I can tell honorable senators exactly what it amounts to. I asked the officers of the Department to prepare a statement showing the average cost of the various arms of the service per man per year. From that statement I find that the average cost per man per year of the Royal Australian Artillery is £118 9s,. 5d. ; Submarine Miners, £167 13s. 5d. ; Australian Light Horse, £16, 18s lod. ; Field Artillery, £19 16s. ; Garrison Artillery, £13 19s. ; Engineers (Field Company), £12' 9s. ; Engineers (Sub-miners), £16 os. 9d. ; Infantry, £13 os. nd. ; Signallers, £13 os. 11d ; Army Service Corps. £17 ; Army Medical Corps, £16. In the case of the volunteers the infantry cost £6 8s. 6d. They are not paid in one sense, but, as I have s.aid, they involve expense, for instruction, rations in camp, travelling expenses, and so on, bringing the cost in their case up to nearly half that of the ordinary militia.


Senator O'Keefe - It is all in connexion with their instruction.


Senator PLAYFORD - Yes, and travelling expenses,, rations, and so on.


Senator Guthrie - They give their time free.


Senator PLAYFORD - They receive no payment for their loss of time. The cost per man per annum for members of rifle clubs is j£i 10s. 3d. ; and this includes expense for ammunition, rifle ranges, and so on. The cadets, cost 15s. 9d. per head at the present time.


Senator Matheson - Does that include the cost of. uniforms for cadets ?


Senator PLAYFORD - No; I think we give them no uniforms.


Senator Matheson - If they have uniforms they provide them themselves?


Senator PLAYFORD - That is so. I propose now to deal with the rifle clubs. The strength of the clubs when we took over the Military Forces on 30th June, 1901, was: - New South Wales, 1,845; Victoria, 21,933; Queensland, 4,297; South Australia, 2,546 ; and Western Australia1 and Tasmania, nil. The total number of members of rifle clubs taken over was 30,621. The strength on the 30th June, 1905, was - New South Wales, 4,800, which is an increase of 3,000 ; Victoria, 16,293, as compared with 21,933 taken over from the State.


Senator Matheson - How many of them are efficient?


Senator PLAYFORD - I have no statement as to that, but I am informed that a considerable number are efficient, and that this branch of the service is well up in efficiency. The strength of the rifle clubs in Queensland on the 30th June, 1905, was 2,961, showing a decrease of 1,336. South Australia, 3,385, showing an increase of 839 ; Western Australia, 2,493, though none were taken over ; and in Tasmania, though none were taken over, there are now 310, the total being 30,242. Tasmania has therefore started in the race, and it is to be hoped she will keep up.


Senator Dobson - The honorable senator might say now that Switzerland, with a smaller population, has 200,000 riflemen.


Senator PLAYFORD - That is all very nice. It will be seen that while the. number -of members of rifle clubs have decreased in two of the States since the date of the taking over of the Military Forces, the movement has become more general throughout the Commonwealth. The decrease in the two States, I am informed) may be attributed to the fact that in 1900-1901 the strength of the rifle clubs in these States, particularly as regards Victoria, was abnormal, owing to the South African campaign, and also that a stricter supervision has .resulted in a number of non-efficients being struck off.


Senator Best - Is the honorable senator quite sure that it is not due to a want of encouragement by the Defence Department ?


Senator PLAYFORD - Not at all. We give them 'as much encouragement as the States; .ever gave them.


Senator Best - The explanation given seems to me to be extraordinary, because the South African campaign affected all the other States in the same way as "Victoria.


Senator PLAYFORD - But they had only a very few members of rifle clubs as compared with "Victoria.


Senator Matheson - The secret is that in Victoria members were returned as on the strength of the clubs, whether they were efficient or not.


Senator PLAYFORD - Under the State Government, in 1901, there were 21,933 members of rifle clubs enrolled in "Victoria, whilst on the same date in New South Wales the number enrolled was only 1,845. The number in that State has increased to 4,800. Giving the totals, * we took over from all the States, 30,621. members of rifle clubs, and we have at the present time 30,242. We have practically kept up the numbers,, and they are considerably more efficient to-day than they were when we took them over. Now, what did we take over from the States in the way of arms and ammunition? We took over 12,903 Martini Lee-Enfield and 102 Lee-Metford rifles, making a total of 13,005 magazine rifles: Of single loaders we took over 30,098 Martini-Enfield rifles, 996 Martini-Metford, and 1,504 MartiniEnfield carbines, making a total of 32,688. We took over 9,038,761 ball cartridges, equivalent to about 200 rounds for each .303 rifle on issue and in store. On 30th June, 1905, we had 35,913 magazine rifles, as against 13,005 taken over, being an increase of 22,908 magazine rifles over the number in store and on issue at the date of the transfer of the Department to the Commonwealth. Of single loaders we had on 30th June, 1905, 30,945. The war establishment of the Commonwealth Military Forces under the present organization is 39,623, of whom 31,262 would require to be armed with rifles. Seeing that we have 35,913 magazine rifles available, there is a surplus shown of 4,651 after all troops for war establishments are provided for. Of .303 ball cartridges on 30th June last, we had a balance oil' hand of 30,800,865, whilst there have been ordered for this year 10,000,000, making a total of 40,800,865. We use practically 10,000,000 cartridges every year for practice.


Senator Matheson - How many have two bullets?


Senator PLAYFORD - We have had all the packages weighed, and we have found only two containing inverted bullets, which might have burst, and perhaps have caused loss of life. In connexion with Field Artilery armament, the number of guns taken over from the States was 125.


Senator Guthrie - All efficient?


Senator PLAYFORD - We took over 4,961 rounds of cordite, and 28,870 rounds of powder. Of the 125 guns taken over from the States, 101 were obsolete, and practically useless.


Senator Matheson - Are\ we going to pay for them?


Senator PLAYFORD - I do not know. I shall not pay for them if I can help it, as they were only fit for the scrap-heap when they were taken over.


Senator Matheson - I have been calling attention' to that for the last four years.


Senator PLAYFORD - We took over from the States only twenty-four serviceable brech-loading guns. At the present time, the number of serviceable field-guns, including those now under order, and ammunition for same, is eighty. These guns are all up-to-date, and better weapons than the twenty-four serviceable guns taken over from the States which are not up to date. Though they are reasonably effective, they are not firstclass. We have! now 36,376 rounds of cordite, which is equivalent to 500 rounds per field-gun, and 200 rounds for guns of position. The eighty up-to-date guns comprise twenty-four 18-pounder quick- firing guns; forty-eight 15-pounder breech-loading, guns; and, as guns of position, four 5-inch breech-loaders, and four 4.7-inch quick-firers. We require twenty-four more field-guns to make up our proper complement. In 1904, it was agreed that £524,683 should be spent on warlike material and stores, spreading the expenditure over four years. I have all the figures showing the amounts that we have spent during each of the years. We shall have a balance out of the total amounting to £135,237, to be spent in order to complete those stores. I come now to the fixed defences of the Commonwealth. In regard to our fixed defences, the number of guns and rounds of ammunition which we took over from the States at the date of transfer to the Commonwealth was: 373 guns, 6,488 rounds of cordite, and 41,295 rounds of powder. Of the 373 guns, 242 are obsolete muzzle-loaders and smooth-bores. They are not worth much now,. That leaves 131 breech-loading and quick-firing guns, which are now classed as follow : - Service, 95 ; reserve, 28 ; obsolete, 8. The number of guns classed as service on 1st July, 1905, was 102, and we have 221 rounds of ammunition for each of them. That is the whole of the information which I have to give, so far as concerns our fixed defences. Now I come to the Naval Forces. At the date of transfer to the Commonwealth, the strength of the Naval Forces was 1,588. At the present time the strength is 1,041 - being a decrease of 547. At the time of transfer the ships taken over by the Commonwealth were as follow : - One turret-ship, the Cerberus; one cruiser, the Protector; two gunboats, two first-class torpedo-boats, six second-class torpedoboats, and two torpedo-launches. All those vessels were in fairly good order. Captain Creswell informs me that -

At the present time, with the exception of two second-class torpedo boats sold, the same vessels remain. The turret ship, however, has been condemned on account of the bad condition of her boilers.

She is only fit to be used as a boat-house for men to sleep in, and for other purposes apart from the actual defence of the Commonwealth. All the other vessels, Captain Creswell says -

All the others are in good order, although their ages range from 15 to 22 years.

Captain Creswell has furnished me with a statement concerning the armament, which amounts to this. He has a few fairly good guns. A number of others are in fairly good order, but obsolete. The guns which are obsolete are four 10-inch muzzle-loaders, one 64-pounder, seven 9-pounders, two 121/2 pounder breech-loaders, one 12-pounder breech-loader, and two. 6-pounder breechloaders. In addition to these, we have three 8-inch breech-loaders, twelve 6-in. breech-loaders, and five 5-in. breech-loaders, together with fifty-five smaller quick-firing and machine guns, all of which are in good order, but "becoming obsolete." That is to say, they are on the road to become useless. There are two 4.7-in. quick-firers, which have been received since the date of transfer, but which were previously ordered by States Governments. So that we have not bought a gun for the naval defence of the Commonwealth, and we have lost 500 men, whilst all the guns taken over from the States were either obsolete or in the condition called obsolescent, that is to say, in the course of becoming absolutely obsolete.


Senator Matheson - That is a splendid record !


Senator Dobson - What does the Minister mean by saying that we have lost 500 men ?


Senator PLAYFORD - I cannot tell what has become of them. The statement means that we have 500 men fewer in the Naval Forces now than we had at the date of transfer.


Senator Dobson - I do not think the Minister should talk about a " loss."


Senator PLAYFORD - Well I am stating a fact. I think I ought to tell the Senate what the actual state of the case is.


Senator Dobson - Were the men retrenched ?


Senator PLAYFORD - I dare say some of them are in the cemetery.


Senator Walker - Were they Naval Brigade men?


Senator PLAYFORD - Some of them were. The statement means, to put it shortly, that the personnel of our Naval Forces has been reduced to the extent I have mentionedWith respect to torpedoes, atthe time of transfer we had ninety-seven. Now we have ninety-two," but there are ten more on order. Those at present on hand were at the date of transfer either obsolete or in process of becoming obsolete.


Senator Guthrie - What is it intended to do with the obsolete torpedoes?


Senator PLAYFORD - I suppose they are used for practice purposes. At the time of transfer there were fifty-six submarine mines on hand. The number remains the same at the present time, but gun-cotton charges are required for thirty of them. I have a statement showing the total expenditure on the Naval and Military Forces at the time of the transfer, 1900-1, as compared with the estimated expenditure "for 1905-6. It shows thatat the time of transfer the States spent a total of £988,696. The estimated expenditure for 1905-6 amounts to £1,021,531. But ithas to be remembered that the States paid only £104,548 towards the Naval Agreement, whereas the Commonwealth is paying £200,000, a difference of nearly £100,000. It has also to be remembered that of the sum which I have mentioned as being expended in 1900-1, the States spent close on £200,000 out of loan money, but the Commonwealth has spent no loan money for military pur- poses. Therefore, our expenditure compares with the States expenditure very favorably in that respect.


Senator Pearce - Furthermore, the States, had few rifles, and scarcely any effective guns.


Senator PLAYFORD - No; they were ill provided for in those respects. Now I come to the important question of what we ought to do. It is, of course, the most important question of all. I will tell the Senate what Captain Creswell's views are. I put to him a series of questions, and obtained his answers to them. My first question was, " What the Commonwealth should have in the way of a Navy ?" His answer was as follows : -

Three cruiser destroyers, sixteen torpedo boat destroyers, and fifteen torpedo boats first and second class. Of course, it cannot be expected that these vessels will be provided at once or in one year, and the provision will be extended over a period of seven years, at an average cost of £330,000 per annum.

My next question was, "What is the estimated cost?" Captain Creswell replied -

Cost of vessels, £1,768,000 ; maintenance of vessels, commissioned .and in reserve during seven years, £532,000; total, £2,300,000; to be provided in the seven years.


Senator Pearce - Can the Minister give us figures concerning the upkeep?


Senator PLAYFORD - I asked Captain Creswell a question concerning the cost of upkeep, and he replied that it would be £120,000 per annum in peace time, including; an addition of 456 to the permanent forces and 466 to the naval militia. Then I asked him what vessels he would propose to get first, and he replied : -

Four torpedo boat destroyers and four first class torpedo boats.

My next question was, " What vessels at present in commission could be first dispensed with?" The reply was: -

Cerberusto be withdrawn from commission, and to be a dep6t for torpedo-boat crews within the heads. Queensland gunboats to be resurveyed, withdrawn from commission, and relegated to such service as may be deemed suitable. Protector to be re-surveyed and probably used as a tender to gunnery school. This will provide a defence not designed as a force for action against hostile fleets or squadrons, which is the province of the Imperial fleet, but as a line necessary to us within the defence line of the Imperial fleet - a purely defensive line, that will give security to our naval bases, populous centres, principal ports, and commerce.

Captain Creswell has also furnished me with a long report, in which he has entered into these various matters in detail. It is a very interesting document, which I think honorable senators will find it profitable to study. He says -

First and Vital Requirement.

It is necessary to make plain the fundamental principle in any defence, viz., that intelligence of the position, and movements and intention of the enemy is a vital need.

It is as vital to the defences and armed forces of any country as sight to the boxer or swordsman. No matter how expert either boxer or swordsman may be, or how strong in defence, it will be unanimously admitted that, without eyesight, he is under a vital disadvantage. Until actually struck, he cannot tell where or how he will be attacked.

This may appear to be a truism too plainly obvious to require statement. It has not been too obvious to save us from absolutely neglecting this fundamental principle in our defence organization.

Lack of "Intelligence" a Fundamental Weakness to a Sea Frontier.

A range of mountains has been declared a bad frontier when the enemy is able to mass his forces secretly on the further side. *

A mountain range extending for several' hundred miles along a frontier, with all the passes held by the enemy, could only be defended by a hugely preponderating force. Each pass would require in its neighbourhood a force equal to the enemy's full strength. If there were five or ten passes, the defence would require five or ten times the enemy's attacking strength.

With facilities for rapid massing at any point less would suffice for the defence, or, if the configuration permitted, a strong defending force centrally placed, that is, having the interior position, would be able to strike at the enemy after he had debouched. On the other 'hand, with intelligence of the particular pass whence attack would be made, there would be required for its defeat a defence but slightly exceeding the numbers and strength of the attack. Intelligence here represents a saving of many thousands of men, and, if the contending forces were approximately equal in numbers, intelligence would furnish the only means of achieving a successful defence.

With a mountain frontier, intelligence is vital. With a sea frontier, it is still more so.

To a defence constituted like the Australian at the present moment, the sea is a more perfect and complete screen to an enemy's movements than even a mountain range with the passes in the hands of the enemy.

Our frontier is several thousand miles in extent, although from Townsville south, about to Perth, is all that need be considered. The defended ports, some nine or ten in number, and some half-dozen others on the sea-board, we mav regard as situated within striking distance of passes held by the enemy. The sea screens the enemy. We have no eyes - no intelligence of his movements. He may attack any of the populous centres or capital ports.

This necessitates preparation at all, and a force at each greater than the enemy's.

The mountain frontier analogy may now be dropped, because

Whatwe Need.

The addition vitally necessary to our defence is a means of penetrating this screen - of furnishing intelligence, of keeping touch with the enemy, and reporting his position from day to day.

Advantages Accruing.

With this power, we shall have - instead of possible panic and preparation at all places, and general uncertainty - a certain knowledge of the position of the enemy, and probably his intentions will be discovered and anticipated.

That alone is an immense gain.

Now, supposing, in addition to being the eyes of our defence, the means we employ have power as well to influence the movements of the enemy in a manner very much to our advantage - viz.; inthis way, that we can compel him to keep miles away from the neighbourhood of our ports in darkness - that is also a great gain, because at night an enemy at present can come close up to the entrances of our ports, and snap up shipping either leaving or attempting to enter. Also, by night the ship can throw shell into a large mark like a town covering several square miles, while a fort cannot hope to hit a ship well beyond the range of the shore search light.

Further, it permits the opening of the port to commerce during the hours of darkness.

What Supplies the Need.

These great defence advantages we obtain by the employment of a service of destroyers and torpedo defence. Without it, the present defence is a blind defence, and the drawback of a blind defence needs no explanation.

Now, were these alone the gains to our power, they would be sufficient, but there are others of scarcely less moment.

Additional Advantages.

With destroyers or torpedo boats within striking distance, no force can attempt a landing from vessels. Striking distance may be put down as100 miles, a distance that destroyers can cover in a few hours.

No force, except a very large expeditionary force with numerous transport steamers, and having with it all that is necessary for land transport, could attempt a landing 100 miles from our ports, and no such force could be sent here while the Empire possesses a Fleet.

We must now consider the defence of our commerce, and, upon its safety, depends the whole business and industrial life of the Commonwealth. The oversea trade of the Commonwealth is approximately from£90,000,000 to £ 1 00,000,000 annually. If the intercolonial trade be included, it would of course be considerably greater than the latter sum.

Ifthe enemy were sighted, let us say, in the neighbourhood of Perth, to-day, it is certain that the steamers between the eastern States and Perth would immediately cease running. The non-arrival of one or two en route when the news arrived, would be the only indication of the enemy's whereabouts. If no further "Intelligence was received within, say, five days - a matter well within the enemy's control by keeping off the regular trade route - he would have had time to arrive in Bass Straits, and trade would be stopped between Sydney and Melbourne. Insurance rates in any case would have risen considerably. There would be no indication of his whereabouts, and trade from, say, Adelaide West could not be resumed. A few more days without intelligence, and there would be a cessation practically of all our sea trade. It would be impossible to say off what port the enemy might have placed himself, awaiting to capture entering or departing ships, closing in at night without lights and making sufficient offing to be out of sight before daylight. To the actual and definite intelligence of his presence off Perth would, of course, be added the usual numerous and indeterminable rumours to keep alive public agitation all conducing to block all business and the general commerce of the Commonwealth, with obvious results to the whole community.

It is strange that a sea trade, said to be greater than that of Spain and Portugal or Japan, valued at£100,000,000, has been left out of consideration in defence schemes. The lack can be supplied by a scouting service and torpedo defence.

Open sea scouting will be provided by vessels of a special class. Destroyers are capable of this service on any sea, particularly our Eastern coasts, under average weather conditions. A large measure of security for sea trade can be effected by destroyers, and this in addition to the services first claimed for them.

Destroyers working from ports can insure that the sea shall be clear of an enemy for a radius of 50 to 60 miles at night. As, with superior speed, the destroyer can follow any enemy that it may sight during the day, on the chance of attacking him by night, no enemy would elect to be sighted even by day if it opened the opportunity of being followed and attacked at night. The area round ports can therefore be made secure for the entry and exit of trade.

Once at sea and clear of the " area of con vergence of trade routes," there is comparative safety for the merchant steamer. She canselect her course, and the chances of capture are reduced to a minimum.

With high speed destroyers and the short distance comparatively between the main capital ports in the Eastern States of the Commonwealth, the routes could be further secured by an effective patrol, and by destroyer bases at the numerous creeks and sea inlets available only to light draft vessels. An enemy on the inner coast route would be open to attack at a number of points, a fact that would not incline him to remain on the route usually followed by our very considerable coasting trade.

Summary : - The following are the services rendered by destroyers, and lacking to our present defence : -

i.   Intelligence ; and keep touch with an enemy, reporting his position.

ii.   Compel attack by day, enabling our fixed defences to meet attack at the greatest advantage.

iii.   Make impossible any landing.

iv.   Make safe to our commerce the danger areas in the vicinity of our ports, enabling vessels to enter or leave and gain the open sea.

v.   Enable sea commerce to continue running, and to a great extent prevent the interruption to the general business of the community.

The above render it necessary to establish a destroyer service.


Senator Staniforth Smith - Does Captain Creswell say where the torpedo destroyers would be located?







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