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Tuesday, 10 December 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) (Minister for Defence) . - I desire to inform the Senate that some time ago, owing to the limited accommodation at the disposal of the Naval Forces, the great number of recruits coming forward for the Navy, and the desire of the Government, and we believe also of the Parliament, that as many as possible of those manning the Fleet Unit should be Australians, we approached the Government of the United Kingdom with a request that the third class cruiser Pioneer, which it was proposed to recall to Great Britain, should be lent to the Government in the same way as the cruiser Encounter has been lent for training purposes. I am able to announce that to-day we received from the Government of the United Kingdom a cablegram making a free gift of the cruiser Pioneer to the Australian Government.

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