Opinion Number. 899

Subject

DEFENCE FORCES TIME WHEN ACTIVE SERVICE COMMENCES FOR OFFICERS OF AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE: RED CROSS PERSONNEL HOLDING HONORARY COMMISSIONS

Key Legislation

DEFENCE ACT 1903, s. 4: INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ACT 1915, s. 13: DEFENCE ACT 1917, s. 2: ARMY ACT (IMP.), s. 189 (1)

Date
Client
The Secretary, Department of Defence

The Secretary, Department of Defence, has forwarded for advice a memorandum by the Adjutant-General on the question, submitted by the Commissioner of Taxation, whether persons serving with the Red Cross and holding honorary rank have been deemed to be on active service only since the passing of the amending Defence Act of 1917.

The Adjutant-General assumed that the persons described had been granted honorary commissions, with rank relative to their status in the Red Cross Society, in the Australian Imperial Force, that is, that they were officers of the Australian Imperial Force.

On that assumption the question for determination was when are officers of the Australian Imperial Force deemed to be on active service within the meaning of the Defence Act, and the Adjutant-General gave the following answers to that question:

  1. prior to 25 September 1917(1)-from the date of their appointment to the A.I.F.;
  2. subsequent to 25 September 1917-from the date of their embarkation for service abroad until their return to Australia and disembarkation at their port of final destination.

I agree with the opinion of the Adjutant-General as to officers appointed to the A.I.F. before 25 September 1917.
As to officers appointed on or after 25 September 1917, I am of opinion that as and from the date of their appointment to the A.I.F. until the termination of their appointment they are 'on active service' within the meaning of section 189 (1) of the Army Act, as being attached to or forming part of a force which is engaged in operations against the enemy.

[Vol.16, p. 100]

(1) The date on which assent was given to the Defence Act 1917.