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Thursday, 14 June 1906

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

1.   No. The present composition of the Squadron is as follows : - 1 first-class protected cruiser, 3 second-class cruisers, 5 third-class cruisers.

2.   No. The numbers given in the last return received are5 officers and 304 men.

In his report on the subject, the Naval CommanderinChief stated : - " The recruiting of Australian seamen is, of necessity, very gradual, and it is not possible to at once fill up to the full numbers authorized, till those already serving havereceived sufficient training to allow of them replacing home-trained men. " Also as the men of the Permanent Force complete their five years engagements they are free to join the Australian branch of the Royal Naval Reserve; it will therefore be seen that, to prevent subsequent excess in the numbers authorized, it is inadvisable to enter many more Royal Naval Reserve men from other sources."

3.   Yes.

4.   Eight naval cadetships have been available, but applications have not been received for the full number; all that have applied have been accepted.

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