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this House, and the country generally, we find our men surrendering when they were should begin our training in the schools. led by their own officers, and I assert that Cadets should be drilled until they leave we have men as competent to instruct our school at the age of fourteen, and we should forces—men who have been trained on the continue to train them until they are old battle fields of South Africa---as are any enough to join the rifle clubs. We should officers to be found in the Imperial Army. drill and arm them, so that when they are Mr. FISHER.-If we will have an Imperial oid enough to join rifle clubs they will General Officer Commanding we must have be able to do good work. If we adopt that these Imperial instructors. system we shall obtain a force which, in a Mr. WILKINSON.--I should like to see time of emergency, will be able to render a the Department rely a little more on our good account of itself. I am reminded that own resources instead of going abroad for there is a desire to go to a division without
these men. delay, and, in view of that fact, I shall Mr. FISHER.—1 agree with the honorable bring before the notice of the Minister in member. his own Department several matters which Mr. WILKINSON.—The figures which I proposed otherwise to put before the Com- I have in my possession show that in every mittee. I desire, however, to request the instance Imperial officers are receiving from Minister to explain the disparity which £10 to £16 per annum more than is paid exists between the salaries paid to certain to Australian officers discharging similar officers in one of the most important duties. branches of our Defence Forces. I refer to Sir John FORREST. — That is in accordthe instructional staff, or, in other words, the ance with agreements made prior to the esdrill instructors. I understood that with tablishment of the Commonwealth. We the creation of the Commonwealth we were have not engaged any Imperial officers since to obtain uniformity. When the Prime Min- then. ister and the Attorney-General visited Bris- Mr. WILKINSON.-I inquired a few bane to help the cause of Federation they days ago why a certain classification had not said that, with the establishment of the been carried out, and it seemed to me that Commonwealth, various savings would be the reply I received was, to say the least, a effected, and that we should obtain little ambiguous. It was said that because uniformity in several directions. They de- certain men were not appointed at certain clared that instead of having six tin-pot dates they were not given promotion. armies and six tinsel commanders we should Some of these instructors joined the service have one Australian army and a General years before those who are now receiving Officer Commanding. But, if I am rightly larger salaries. Some of them were in the informed, uniformity so far as salaries are service only two or three years,
whilst concerned does not exist. The drill instruc-others have been in the service nine or tors engaged in this work in New ten years and are getting less pay. South Wales receive £208 per annum ; in Sir John FORREST.— They were introduced Western Australia, £196 per annum ; in Vic- before Federation. toria, £177 per annum ; in South Australia, Mr. WILKINSON.-Why were not these £175 per annum; in Tasmania, £173 per men promoted so that they could receive the annum ; and in Queensland, £166 per same pay as the Imperial non-commissioned annum, These men discharge correspond- officers? Why should they be placed at a ing duties in each of the States, and they disadvantageHowever, I shall probably should receive equal remuneration. I have have an opportunity of discussing this matter alsu a list which shows that preference is with the Minister in his office some time given, without exception, to instructors who during next week, and, at the present stage, have been in the Imperial Army.
will content myself with the observations I Mr. Fisher.—That is quite right from have made. the point of view of the General Officer Mr. HENRY WILLIS (Robertson).--I Commanding, but not from our stand- cannot allow this opportunity to pass withpoint.
out making some reference to the disbandMr. WILKINSON.-Let me remind the ment of Commonwealth volunteer corps. honorable member that the only Australian Some time since the matter was brought forforce which surrendered in South Africa ward in the House, and it was supposed that was led by an Imperial officer. We did not the Minister would make some reference to
it when the Estimates were under considera- charge. Then, again, I should like to obtain tion. But so far he has said nothing to some information from the Minister as to justify the action taken in disbanding what he is prepared to do to provide the companies, some members of which have necessary targets for the practice of the been in the service upwards of twenty clubs. It is a considerable tax upon them to years. These men, it is said, have been provide themselves with targets. I brought converted into a mounted force. But it is this matter under the Minister's notice sone impossible to convert companies of volun- time ago. teer infantry into a mounted force unless Sir John FORREST.–We now propose to they have the means to provide themselves make them a capitation allowance of 5s. per with horses. Some of these volunteers have been to the Transvaal and have Mr. HENRY WILLIS.- That is a mere covered themselves with glory. On return. nothing; it is scarcely worth mentioning. ing they were desirous of continuing as Sir John FORREST.—It means 5s. per man volunteers, but the Minister says he no to the clubs. longer requires their services. The volun- Mr. HENRY WILLIS. Give themafree teers throughout New South Wales feel rifle and free ammunition, and they will not very much aggrieved, and, judging from the want any money whatever. The Minister is observations made by the honorable mem- always very courteous when any application ber for Gippsland, it would
is made to him, but we can get nothing but that a similar feeling prevails through- courtesy out of him. Will he give the ritle out Victoria. I
that in clubs an opportunity of doing something for other States there is also discontent. The their proportion of £700,000 a year which throwing of these men out of the service in we are spending? We hear a great deal consequence of the conversion, as it is about the necessity for having good officers, called—it is practically disbandment, and I am prepared to support the General should receive some consideration, and it is Officer Commanding in this respect ; but only due to the Committee that some he should be given to understand that definite, explicit, and satisfactory explana- many of our citizen soldiers are unable to tion should be given before the Estimates provide themselves with horses; that many are passed. If the valuable services of members of our rifle clubs cannot afford the these experienced men are not to be used in cost of ritles; and that they should not volunteer forces, they ask for an opportunity be expected to purchase the ammunition to form civilian rifle clubs. Then the Minis- they use, even at half-price. These are ter interposes again and says, “On payment matters of very great importance. My conof a fee of £3 15s. for the cost of the ritie, stituents are at fever heat over them. I you are permitted to form rifle clubs.” In trust that the Minister will make a few addition to that I suppose they would have observations on the point. If time perto provide their own ammunition.
mitted, I believe that this discussion would Sir John FORREST.—Oh, no ; they receive continue for a whole sitting, judging from 200 rounds free, and 200 at half-price. the interjections which have been made, and
Mr. HENRY WILLIS.-Half-price for from the speeches with reference to this subammunition to men who cannot afford to pay ject a few weeks ago. I have read in the any price at all is a very heavy tax indeed, newspapers that certain companies of the and prevents their carrying out the duties Australian Horse have also been pracpertaining to rifle clubs to the fullest extent. tically disbanded, because they decline the When experienced officers returned from conditions imposed under the new regulations. the South African war they publicly Sir John FORREST.--I have not heard of announced that it should be the policy of it, and do not think it is so. Australia to provide members of ritle clubs Mr. HENRY WILLIS.-I read that at with free ammunition. Some of them went Mudgeeto the length of saying that the riflemen Sir John FORREST.--Most of them are should have as much as they desired; but, going to keep their old title. of course, there must be a limit. I think Mr. HENRY WILLIS.- Are they satisthat ammunition should be supplied free to
fied now? all those who are desirous of forming them- Sir John FORREST.—So far as I know, selves into civilian rifle clubs, and that the yes.
I think that some of them would rilles also should be supplied to them free of
rather remain as they are.
Mr. HENRY WILLIS.–Are they quite is the same old military dislike being dissatisfied ?
played towards rifle clubs. Sir John FORREST.--I should not like to say Sir John FORREST.—What is suggested that, but they are content to fall in with would cost such a lot of money-over the new arrangements.
£200,000. Mr. HENRY WILLIS.Some of the Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I do not care men sent in their resignations, I under what the cost would be. stand.
Sir John FORREST.--- We do. Sir JOHN FORREST.—I heard nothing Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-The Commonabout that.
wealth is prepared to bear the cost of Mr. HENRY WILLIS.-It so thoroughly equipping the members of rifle stated in the newspapers. If the Minister clubs with up-to-date rifles. will give a denial to the report I shall be Sir John FORREST. — What does the honsatisfied.
orable member think the States would Sir Joux FORREST.-I have not seen it.
Mr. HENRY WILLIS.—The Minister · Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—The people of ought to know whether the company of the the Commonwealth will not shirk any exAustralian Horse at Mudgee has resigned pense in that direction. The right honorbecause the members of it were dissatis- able gentleman will not find any objection fied to continue in the service under the in any part of Australia to the complete regulations recently issued.
equipment of the forces we have established. Sir JOHN FORREST.— -We have heard Sir John FORREST. — We hear objections nothing of it in the office.
in every direction from the States. · Mr. HENRY WILLIS.—I am glad to Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-The right honorlearn that the men are now satisfied. I able gentleman must know that it is better should like the Minister to answer the we should have no force at all than that we following questions --First, is he in favour should have a force which is not equipped of giving members of the rifle clubs free in such a way as to render it an efficient rifles; secondly, will he provide them with fighting force in case of need. targets ; thirdly, will he forego the charge Sir JOHN FORREST.
a little of half-price for ammunition? These are time. only reasonable requests in the interests of Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-How much time the Commonwealth. We may save hundreds does the right honorable gentleman require? of thousands of pounds hereafter if the He has had three years already. How much Department will properly equip these men. time does he consider sufficient ? I hope the answer to these questions will be Sir John FORREST.-Honorable members in the affirmative.
have been cutting down the vote all that Sir JOHN FORREST. It would cost time. £250,000.
Mr. Fisher.— It will bear cutting down Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta).—I a little yet. entirely subscribe to the suggestion of the Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-How much time honorable member for Robertson as to the does the right honorable gentleman require need for greater liberality in the treatment to thoroughly equip the various corps ? of ride clubs. We did expect, when the Mr. Watson.—The right honorable gentleFederal Forces had been re-organized, man should cut a little off the staffs and to find the rifle clubs put upon a very give it to the ritie clubs. much more liberal footing. It will be a Sir John FORREST.-That would not make matter of keen regret throughout the States them very fat. that such is not the case, and that men are Mr. WATSON.-It would help. still to be "cribbed, cabined, and confined" Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-As to the cutting in their efforts to make themselves thoroughly down, I desire to say that I, for one, will do good rifle shots, and so provide us with a no more cutting down. I think we have mobile force in case of any peril to the Em- cut into the bone. pire. We did expect that when the new Mr. WATSON.-Some branches are pretty regulations were issued they would be found fat still. to contain some such provisions as have been
Mr. JOSEPH COOK.--If we to suggested by the honorable member for have a thoroughly effective defence, I beRobertson. It seems, however, that there' lieve we can hardly expect to secure it for
much less than the expenditure at present that I told the Committee exactly what I proposed. That is the conclusion to which am telling honorable members now, and that I have arrived upon these matters without, was that in my experience the cutting of course, any expert knowledge. I am the always fell on the wrong shoulders. more determined not to go in for further Mr. Watson.—Did we not get the ascutting when I see the use which has been surance of the Minister in the matter ? made of the cutting down which has al- Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I speak now of ready been effected by honorable members. State experience as well as of Common
Mr. Watson.--The Department is not wealth experience. I remember that on two spending the money in the proper direction. occasions lump sums were cut off the Defence
Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-Invariably the Estimates submitted in the New South effects of the cutting down have fallen upon Wales Parliament, and that invariably the rethe rank and file of the force.
ductions were passed on to the lower ranks Sir John FORREST.—No, no.
of the service. I desire some guarantee, Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-Upon the very before I take part in any more cutting, that men for whose interests honorable mem- that will not be done again. I wish to say that, bers have always manifested the deepest as the result of all the organization and re
They have had to bear the organization, we find the citizen soldier brunt of any cutting proposal. We have getting further and further into the rear. organized and re-organized our army upon
Sir John FORREST.--Not at all. That is very many occasions, and the net result of not true. The honorable member cannot each re-organizing scheme has been to take have read the report of the General Officer something more from the volunteer forces Commanding. of the Commonwealth.
Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I shall be able Mr. FISHER.- Who is to blame for that? to show the right honorable gentleman
Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—The honorable whether the statement is correct or not. It member for Wide Bay for one.
has been understood that the policy of the Mr. FISHER.— The honorable member Commonwealth was to be one of encouragesays that he will
not give it back to ment to the citizen soldier, and that our them. He
says he will not cut down the future Australian defence was to be built staff.
upon a citizen basis.
I desire to point Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I said I would out that, as the net result of the reorganizado no more cutting until I get some guaran- tion schemes we have had from time to tee that it is not going to be the same kind time, dating as far back 1892 in of cutting that we have hitherto had. New South Wales, the gunner and private
Mr. FISHER.—We can make the guaran- who used to get £12 a year is now going tee for ourselves by the vote we give now.
to receive £6 88. The lieutenant, who used Mr. JOSEPH COOK:-1 say the honor- to receive £30, is now to receive £12 under able member has been aiming at one man
the new scheme. The lieutenant who used and hitting another.
to receive £25 is now to receive £12. Mr. FISHER.— The Government have been Whereas the captain used to receive £40, hitting the other.
he is now to receive only £18.
The major Mr. JOSEPH COOK.- That is my com
who used to receive £50 is now to receive plaint against the whole scheme.
oniy £24, and the lieut.-colonel who used to Mr. WATSON.—The honorable member receive £60 is now to receive only £28. I has been taking a part in what has been say that this is not encouraging the citizen done. He need not attribute it to other soldiery. It must have the very opposite persons.
effect. Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I am prepared Mr. WATKINS.— The permanent men have to take my share of responsibility. But I not been cut down in that way. may tell the honorable member for Bland Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-This kind of that, so far as last year's cutting is con- thing is taking the very heart out of our cerned, I had nothing to do with it, and I citizen soldiers, and is tending to destroy was not in favour of it.
all that feeling of loyalty which should be Mr. Watson. The honorable member the basis of any effective defence of the did not raise his voice against it.
Commonwealth. The members of the Mr. JOSEPH COOK.--If the honorable forces are wondering when it is going to member will look at Hansard he will find 'end, and when this constant nagging at
them is likely to cease. That is the feeling but one cannot help observing that it in the militia forces of the Commonwealth simply pulsates with old military ideas. today. It is about time that some finality The fundamental and underlying object of was reached in the re-organization of the the House in amending the Defence Bill has forces. It seems to me that very shortly. not been sufficiently taken into account. they will be re-organized out of existence, if Another point that strikes me is that no re this is the kind of encouragement that is to gard has been paid to the means of efficiency be given to them. I repeat that the net at our command throughout the Commonresult of all the schemes of re-organization wealth. Men from the volunteer ranks we have had has been to still further re- went to South Africa, and remained there duce the bare emolument which our citizen throughout the war, proving themselves able soldiers have from time to time received. soldiers, and rendering efficient service.
Mr. FISHER.—That is a charge against But I know of no instance in which the admistration.
advantage has been taken of the services BIr. JOSEPH COOK.—That is precisely which these men would be able to render; the charge I make.
they have all been forced to retire to the Sir John FORREST.—The honorable mem- privacy of their own homes and districts, ber refers to New South Wales.
and resume their civil callings. I always Mr. JOSEPH COOK.- What I have understood that it was a well-known rule said is true of New South Wales, and it is in the armies of the old world, and, indeed, true of the Commonwealth also.
wherever fighting efficiency is valued, to take Mr. Home Cook.—It is true of all the advantage of such experience; and the States.
military authorities might have tried to 3 r. JOSEPH COOK.—The right honor- utilize the services of gentlemen who able gentleman must know that he is now have proved themselves good leaders and cutting down the pay of the partially-paid capable administrators. But, as I say, I forces.
know of no instance in which those experiSir John FORREST.— We are giving them enced soldiers have been given any oppor8s. a day.
tunity under the re-organization scheme. Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—The right honor. That is not what Australia expected ; able gentleman is talking of the pay per and efficient fighting force day, whilst I am talking of the sum allowed not be maintained if we ignore some to the men annually. I say that the annual of the best ability at command. sum, which they may become possessed of There is another idea underlying the scheme as some reimbursement of their out of pocket of reorganization-an idea which the Minisexpenses and loss of time, is now proposed to ter ought to have obliterated. That is the be £6 8s.
idea of drawing invidious distinctions beSir Joux FORREST.-- We cannot make a tween the regular forces and the volunteer reduction of £250,000 without doing injury forces. For instance, there is still maintained to some one.
the old tradition that a colonel of the Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—The sum allowed regular forces must be allowed twice as is a paltry one, and I venture to say that much for his horse as is a colonel of militia, the great public of the Commonwealth will although the latter has to pay quite as much not sympathize with that kind of cutting as the former for horse feed. down.
Mr. McCay.- Perhaps the horse of a Sir John FORREST.-- Why did the honor- colonel of militia has to be only partially able member assist in cutting down the ex- fed, because the colonel is only partially penditure ?
paid. Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—The right honor- Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-That would able gentleman airily assumes that the scheme to be the idea of the authorities. of re-organization adopted is perfect, and can Sir John FORREST.-A colonel of militia be improved by no man.
is not bound to keep a horse all the year Sir Joux FORREST. - We had to face the round. large reduction of £250,000 in the expendi- Mr. JOSEPH COOK.-I beg the right ture.
honorable gentleman's pardon ; a colonel of Mr. JOSEPH COOK.—I believe the right militia must keep a horse all the year honorable gentleman has made an earnest round ; and where there is that compulsion effort in this scheme of re-organization ; ' no invidious distinction should be drawn.