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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Senator WALKER (New South Wales) - There is an item of £300 for pay for Queensland naval cadets. Do we pay them ?

Senator Playford - When they are taken away from their work for training purposes they are paid.

Senator CLEMONS(Tasmania).- The item £61 for the pay of one sublieutenant and twelve able seamen of the Tasmanian Naval Forces is interesting because of its size. The peculiar fact is that the force is administered by the military authorities of the State. The Minister will, perhaps, excuse the interest which I take in this subject. I am rather keen about the Navy, and I object to naval men being officered or managed by military officers.

Senator Dobson - Let us appoint an Admiral at once !

Senator CLEMONS - That is not the question. I wish to know whether this force really exists. Is it to be seen? What do the men do? What is the duty of the sub-lieutenant? What training do the able seamen receive ? Why is the force being administered by military officers?

Senator PLAYFORD(South AustraliaMinister of Defence). - This is a new item. The Tasmanian naval militia was not previously in existence. We are doing something in the direction which Senator Clemons advocated earlier in the sitting, though, certainly, the beginning is a modest one. It will be noticed that in the portion of the schedule dealing with the Western Australian Forces there is provision for twenty-four able seamen and two sublieutenants. This, of course, is merely a beginning. The men in Tasmania have had the benefit of training on the Protector.

Senator Clemons - The footnote "Administration by military authorities in State " puzzles me.

Senator PLAYFORD - We had to appoint some officers to supervise the administration of the force. In Tasmania there were no naval authorities to undertake the duty. For the time being, and as a makeshift, they were put under the military authorities.

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