DEFENCE SERVICE SERVICE REQUIREMENT OF MEMBERS OF DEFENCE FORCE: MEANING OF ‘AUSTRALIA’: TERRITORIES: MANDATED TERRITORIES: WHETHER SERVICE IN MANDATED TERRITORY IS OVERSEAS SERVICE FOR DEFENCE PURPOSES
DEFENCE ACT 1903 Parts IV, V, XII, XIII, XIV, ss 5A, 49: ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901 s 17(p)
I refer to the letter dated 24th August, 1942, from Mr. R.S.R. to the Prime Minister.
For the purposes of the Defence Act ‘Australia’ is defined to include the Territories of the Commonwealth to which that Act extends.
‘Territories of the Commonwealth’ by virtue of paragraph (p) of section 17 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901–1941 includes any Territory governed by the Commonwealth under a mandate.
Section 5A of the Defence Act provides that that Act shall extend to the Territories of the Commonwealth as if each of those Territories were part of the Commonwealth. That section goes on to provide that Parts IV, V, XII, XIII and XIV of the Act shall not apply to the native inhabitants of the Territories governed by the Commonwealth under a mandate.
Section 49 of the Defence Act provides that members of the Defence Force who are members of the Military Forces shall not be required, unless they voluntarily agree to do so, to serve beyond the limits of the Commonwealth and those of any Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth.
‘Territories under the authority of the Commonwealth’ also includes any Territory governed by the Commonwealth under a mandate. It would appear, therefore, that operations in the Mandated Territories would not be regarded as overseas services for defence purposes. In other words, all members of the Military Forces whether or not they voluntarily agree to do so, may be required to serve in any Territory governed by the Commonwealth under a mandate. The only such Territory is New Guinea.
[Vol. 34, p. 529]