OBJECT OF UNIVERSAL COMPULSORY TRAINING: EXTENT TO WHICH ACTIVE SERVICE EXCUSES NON-ATTENDANCE AT COMPULSORY DRILLS
DEFENCE ACT 1903, Part XII
The object of Part XII of the Act is to prepare citizens to effectively defend their country.
Active service here or outside the Commonwealth is the object for which this preparation is necessary. When therefore a trainee is engaged on active service the duty of attending compulsory drill during such period is discharged.
The mere fact that a trainee is engaged on military duty within the Commonwealth during the whole or part of the period during which he is liable to attend compulsory drills does however not discharge him unless the duties performed by him do in fact come within the description of 'the prescribed training'. And 'compulsory drills' are part of the prescribed training, and absence from such drills is not excused by any amount of previous active service.
That is to say: it is an excuse for non-attendance at a compulsory drill that the trainee is at the time on active service. It is not necessarily an excuse for such non-attendance that the trainee has during the year performed active service of such and such a duration, but if the Area Officer is satisfied that active service has been of such a kind as in fact to fit the trainee to defend his country he may accept it as such.
[Vol. 14, p. 219]
- This opinion is unsigned in the Opinion Book, but it is attributed to Mr Hughes.