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Thursday, 3 November 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - This clause deals, not merely with a time of war or emergency, but also, possibly, with a time of peace; that is to say, it may be necessary, for instance, to send some of our ships to train for a short period in the China waters. We shall have oceangoing torpedo destroyers attached to both the China Squadron and the New Zealand Squadron, and it may be desirable tobring the whole, or a section of them, together for training purposes. This clause gives power to accept torpedo destroyersfrom the China Squadron, and to send' ours over to that squadron for the purposes of training. That will operate irĀ» time of war; but it is also governed by section 46 of the Defence Act, which provides -

The Governor-General may, in time of war, by proclamation, call out the Citizen Forces, or any part thereof, for active service.

In time of war the Citizen Forces will be our first line of defence on land, and in any trouble of such importance that any portion of our Navy would have to bc handed over to the control of British officers, this proclamation would issue. The section proceeds -

The proclamation shall slate the reason for calling out the forces. If the Parliament is sitting, the reason for calling out the forces shall forthwith be communicated by the GovernorGeneral to both Houses of the Parliament. If the Parliament is not sitting at the date of the issue of the proclamation, it shall be summoned to meet within ten days after that date.

In time of war members of the Citizen Forces may be called upon to man the ships, and then Parliament will have to be called together within ten days.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 44 agreed to.

Clause 45 (Funds for annuities or gratuities in case of injury or retirement).

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [10.52]. - I see this clause provides for annuities or gratuities to members of the Permanent Naval Forces who are retired on account of age or infirmity, and I assume that these payments will be similar to those granted in the Imperial service. I am pleased to see such a provision, because after , a man has given the best years of his life to the service it would be cruel to turn him out without any resources.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 46 agreed to.

Schedules, and title, agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Senate adjourned at 10.54 P m-

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