HC Deb 21 March 1923 vol 161 cc2538-9
28. Mr. HARDIE

asked the Minister of Labour whether boys going to Australia under the Migration Scheme are compelled to take military training; and what term of service is required, and between what ages is it necessary?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

Subject to certain exceptions, under the laws of the Commonwealth all male inhabitants of Australia between the ages of 12 and 26, who are British subjects, and have resided in Australia for six months, are liable to undergo training: between the ages of 12 to 14 as junior cadets; for this class, the training consists of physical drill and elementary marching drill for 15 minutes on each school-day; between the ages of 14 to 18 as senior cadets, the training consists of 40 drills a year of an average length of an hour and a half. Between 18 and 26, as members of the citizen forces. Members of the citizen forces are trained in camp for eight days a year and for a further eight days at home. In the case of naval forces, artillery and engineers, the camp training is for 17 days.


Is it not a fact that military training in Australia was of very great advantage in the late War?


asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that, in connection with a meeting organised by the National Constitutional Association to consider the questions of unemployment and emigration, secretaries of local employment committees were empowered to issue cards of invitation at the Government's expense, he will extend the same facilities for advertising a meeting to be organised by a Labour association on the inadvisability of promoting emigration to the Dominions and Colonies, the Governments of which have admitted that an unemployment problem also confronts them?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Montague Barlow)

The hon. Member puts a hypothetical case. If and when such a case arises in fact, I shall be glad to consider it.