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Wednesday, 6 December 1905

Senator HIGGS asked the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

1.   Is it true that non-commissioned officers from other States than Queensland are sent to the School of Gunnery to qualify as master gunners, sergeant-majors, quartermaster-sergeants, sergeants, and staff instructors; and that, after so qualifying, they are sent to Queensland and placed over the heads of Queensland men?

2.   Has the Minister any objection to sending sufficient Queensland non-commissioned officers to the School of Gunnery to qualify for any rank that may be vacant in Queensland ?

3.   Does the Minister of Defence see any objec tion to the issue of orders to the following effect : -

(a)   That no non-commissioned officer shall be transferred to Queensland unless a Queensland non-commissioned officer of the same rank is transferred to some other State?

(b)   That all non-commissioned officers who have been transferred to Queensland exceeding the number of Queensland officers transferred to other States, shall be removed to their respective States ?

(c)   That every military branch throughout the Commonwealth shall be made an enlisting station, and that the enlisted man's fare shall be paid to the nearest recruiting station?

4.   Is it true that within the past few months 28 men have been transferred to Queensland to the alleged detriment of officers of the Queensland branch of the Commonwealth Permanent Military Forces ?

Senator PLAYFORD - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow : -

1.   No. Since September, 1902, five (5) officers and twenty-four (24) non-commissioned officers and men of the Royal Australian Artillery stationed in Queensland have passed through the School of Gunnery.

2.   No. 3. (a) and (b) The Permanent Forces consist off the -

Royal Australian Artillery,

Corps of Australian Engineers,

Australian Army Service Corps,

Australian Army Medical Corps,

Administrative and Instructional Staff (Officers),

Instrumental Staff (Warrant and N.C, Officers), and for the purpose of promotion above the rank of Corporal each of these is treated as one Corps throughout the Commonwealth, and on a vacancy occurring in any State for a N.C.O., the Senior N.C. Officer of the next lower grade, who has qualified, i.e., has. passed the necessary examination, and' is recommended by his Commanding Officer and the District Commandant for promotion, is appointed to the vacancy irrespective of the State in which he is serving, and I do not consider that any change shouldbe madein this procedure.

(c)   The vacancies that occur in the Permanent Forces are comparatively few, and us there is no difficulty at the present time in obtaining suitable recruits as from time to lime required, it is not desirable that any change be made, otherwise the enlisting Officer would require to go to the various stations.

4.   Since the first January last the following transfers have been made to Queensland : - 28 Gunners, R.A.A., from New South Wales and Victoria to Thursday Island, to augment the garrison there. 1 Sergeant, R.A.A., from New South Wales, on promotion to Coy. Q.M. Sergeant. 1 Corporal, R.A.A., from New South Wales, on promotion to Sergeant. 1 Corporal, R.A.A., from Victoria, on promotion to Sergeant. 1 Sergeant, R.A.A., from Victoria, on appointment to Instructional Staff.

The N.C.O.'s were the senior in their respective ranks in the R.A.A, had passed, and were recommended - similarly as vacancies occur any Senior' Corporal in Queensland would be transferred to wherever the vacancy existed.

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