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Wednesday, 16 November 1910

Senator NEEDHAM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) . - I desire to ask the Minister of Defence whether he has noticed a telegram which appeared in the Age of this morning in reference to the case of Warder Wise. I shall not read the whole of the telegram, because it is too long. There is only one particular phase to which I wish to call the Minister's attention, and that is that in reply to Mr. Troy, who had moved the adjournment of the Legislative Assembly, the Premier of Western Australia made this statement -

It would he impossible to permit any number of prison warders to undertake military service.

In view of the fact that we have before Parliament a Defence Bill calling upon all citizens to undertake military duty, I ask the Minister of Defence what he thinks of the statement made by the Premier of Western Australia ? If after the Bill becomes law prison warders are prevented from taking their share of the duty of citizen soldiers, what position will the Government of the Commonwealth be placed in? I alsodesire to know if the Minister has yet received a reply from the Premier of Western Australia. Seeing that he is about to visit that State, it might be wise on his part to enlighten the. Senate as to the position we shall be faced with in the' event of other State Premiers taking a similar stand.

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