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Thursday, 24 October 1912

Senator McDOUGALL (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

1.   In view of the abolition of the Regimental

Staff and status of the Australian Garrison Artillery in New South Wales (which caused the resignation of officers and men of the Australian Garrison Artillery), will the Minister inform the Senate if such action was. in accordance with the recommendations of Lord Kitchener?

2.   Will the Minister lay on the table of the

Senate Lord Kitchener's recommendation in respect to the composition of thepersonnel that should man the coast defence fortifications of New South Wales?

3.   When is it the intention of the Minister to carry out such recommendations?

4.   Will the Minister inform the Senate (according to his own statement in Hansard) on what date he offered the position of Fire Commander to Major Chaseling?

5.   Will the Minister lay on the Table of the Senate papers in connexion with said offer to and refusal by Major Chaseling of the position of Fire Commander?

SenatorPEARCE.- The answers to the questions are : -

1.   Yes.

2.   The report in question, being of a secret nature, cannot be made public as desired, but the honorable member can be shown confidentially the portion of the report dealing with the matter.

3.   As the financial circumstances admit. A commencement is being made this year by increases as shown on pages 102 and 103 of the present Estimates. 4 and 5. I find that I was under a misapprehension in the matter. The position offered to Major Chaseling was that of Officer Commanding 4th Company, Garrison Artillery, and not that of Fire Commander.

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