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Wednesday, 29 November 1911

Senator PEARCE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - Some time ago the Government were furnished with a report upon the whole question of establishing a superannuation scheme for Commonwealth public servants. Reports have also been obtained upon the desirableness of establishing a superannuation scheme for the Military Forces of the Commonwealth.

Senator Millen - Does it cover deferred pay?

Senator PEARCE - Yes that is a kindred question. These matters have not yet been decided by the Government. They are still under consideration, and the payment of military pensions will receive attention in conjunction with them. In reply to the second portion of Senator Keating's question, I do not think it is a fact that the absence of military pensions has militated against the' supply of military officers, as we have always had. a large number of applicants for every position that has become vacant.

Senator KEATING - Is it not a fact that some difficulty has been experienced by the Department in filling positions in the Military College, and, in view of the fact that the session will shortly terminate, will the Minister afford the Senate an opportunity to express its opinion upon the wisdom or otherwise of providing pensions for the Military Forces, so that they may enjoy similar rights to those which are enjoyed by the Commonwealth Naval Forces?

Senator PEARCE - The paucity of applicants for positions in the Military College was not due to the absence of military pensions, but to the fact that it was not sufficiently well known that applications were being received. This is clearly proved by the circumstance that, since publicity was given to the matter in the press, and since the date for the closing of applications was extended, a large number of applications has been received.

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