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Wednesday, 13 December 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - Undoubtedly the Government will prosecute cadets in all cases where it is manifest that they desire to evade the provisions of our Defence Act. At the beginning of the new year, we intend vigorously to prosecute those who do not attend parade.I wish now to reply to the statements made by Senator Blakey, who alleged that a number of noncommissioned officers who have served for a period of years in our Defence Forces are only receiving the same rate of pay as officers who recently joined those forces. As a matter of fact, what happened was this : When we engaged 200 non-commissioned officers to start our new defence scheme, the minimum pay of non-commissioned officers, was £137 a year. The officers whose cause Senator Blakey championed were then in receipt of less than £156 per annum, and their pay was increased to that amount. Thus, the new-comers were engaged at £156 per annum, whilst the pay of the other officers was automatically increased to £156 per annum. How the latter have been damaged in any way, I cannot understand.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel SirAlbert Gould. - They have the advantage of seniority as promotion occurs.

Senator PEARCE - Of course. Out of the whole of our non-commissioned officers only three who have more than fifteen years service are getting less than £183 per annum, and all are receiving more than £156 per annum. The reason that some of them are getting less than £183 per annum is that they declined to accept promotion in cases in which a transfer to another portion of the State was involved.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.

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