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Friday, 10 August 1906
Friday, 10 August 1906

Mr. Speakertook the chair at 10.30 a.m.

House counted.


Mr. HUTCHISONasked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

1. As Lance-Scrgcant John Hanks, who did not pay £1018s.6d. till he had been sued for the amount, was tried by court-martial and dismissed with ignominy from the Western Australian branch of the Commonwealth Military Forces, why has Lieutenant Alexander John Russell, of the Perth Highlanders, who allowed himself to be sued for £400, and who dishonorably evaded payment by pleading the Gaming Act, and was therefore expelled from the Stock Exchange of Perth, not been similarly dealt with ?

a. Is there a different code of honour in the Commonwealth Forces for commissioned officers and for non-commissioned officers?

3. Is there any truth in the assertion that Lieutenant Russell escaped punishment because he is a well-known society and business man, a member of the Weld arid Perth clubs, and a personal friend of a leading officer?

Mr. DEAKIN.- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1. Lance-Sergeant Hanks was tried by courtmartial for -

Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that, on the 24th February,1906, although repeatedly called upon, and, after promising to do so, he failed to account for, or produce, the sum of £10 18s. gd., the property of the officer commanding the nth Australian.- Infantry Regiment, which failure - necessitated action being taken in the Police Court, Perth, in order to recover same, such - recovery being obtained in consequence of an order of the Court, mnde on the 7th March, 1906.

He was found guilty, and sentenced to be discharged with ignominy.

With regard to Lieutenant A. J. Russell, of the Western Australian Infantry Regiment - a cutting from the Sunday Timet, of Western Australia, commenting on the expulsion of Mr. Russell from the Perth Stock Exchange was brought under the notice of the Minister, who referred it to the Commandant of Western Australia.

The Commandant, in reply, stated that he had been watching the case very closely, and had been informed that Mr. Russell has instituted proceedings against the Sunday Times, and recommended that no action be taken until such time as the Court has given judgment.

2. No.

3. No.

Mr.Hutchison. - He was expelled from the Stock Exchange.

Mr. DEAKIN.- I understand that that was in consequence of a statement published in the newspaper against whose proprietors he is bringing a, libel action.

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