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Wednesday, 20 December 1905

Senator PLAYFORD - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follow : - 1 and 2. There was no Order in Council permitting officers to retain their rank. It was a Cabinet decision, which was not gazetted as an Order in Council. A " General Order " cannot confer any rank on an officer, an Order in Council being necessary for that.

The officers who served with Australian Contingents in South Africa numbered 848, of whom-

(1)   240 officers served in South Africa in a rank higher than that which they held in the Military Forces of Australia.

(2)   303 officers, who, apart from serving in an Australian Contingent, did not belong to the Military Forces of Australia, but who, under the Cabinet decision of 8th July, 1901, would have been permitted to retain the rank they held in South Africa as rank on the Unattached List of the Military Forces of Australia.

If the Cabinet decision of 8th July, 1901, had been fully acted upon prior to the date of the amendment ofsuch decision, viz., 30th April, 1902, 180 out of the 240 officers referred to in (i) would have been permitted to retain their higher rank as brevet rank in the Commonwealth Military Forces, but, it is found on inquiry that it was only acted upon in 29 cases. The Cabinet decision having been held in abeyance in the remaining cases pending the result of representations which were made to the Minister by several Commandants, and which finally ended by the Cabinet, on the recommendation of the General Officer Commanding (Major-General Sir E. T. H. Hutton) substituting the word "honorary" for "brevet" in the minute of 8th July, 1901.

Captain (now Captain and Hon. Major) J. W. M. Carroll, returned to Queensland, and resumed duty with the Instructional Staff in that State on the 10th May. 1902.

3.   As stated in reply to (1) and (2), an Order in Council only can confer brevet or other commissioned rank.

4.   The Cabinet decision of 30th April, 1902, substituted the word "honorary" for "brevet."

I do not want to hear much more about Major Carroll.

Senator Findley - The Minister will hear a lot about him.

Senator PLAYFORD - I have tried to do justice to him.

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