[BV THLXGRA.PH—UOPYRIOHT.J [Per Press Association, i MAJOR-GENERAL EDWARDS'S REPORT.
MELBOURNE, October 15. (Reoeivcd Qotpber 16,1889, at 1.35 p.m.)
The report of Major-general Edwards on the defences of Australia has been published. He considers that the Australian colonies offer a rich and tempting prize to a hostile country, and sayH that if they had to rely on their own resources as regards defence they would certainly be called upon to fight for their independence. Without cohesion of power and combination their position is one of great danger. He recommends the federation of the military forces, and to effect this New South Wales and Victoria should each furnish three brigades, and South Australia and Queensland one each. A lieutenant-general should be appointed, whose duties would be to inspect these brigades in time of peace, and to command them should war break out. The brigades, he considers, should be stationed to protect the coast-line from Brisbane to Adelaide. He favors the adoption of a system of partially paid forces, provided that the conditions of service are as stringent as those now in existence in Victoria. He would also give each of the colonies a force sufficient for present requirements. Majorgeneral Edwards considers it most neceßßary to have a uniform railway gauge, and that no general defence should be undertaken unless distant points are connected by rail. Perth and Port Darwin, he says, offer a menace to Australia by reason of their isolated positions. The isolated position of Tasmania was even more dangerous, and in time of war it might be found necessary to send troops there to defend it. The numerous harbors of Tasmania offered every convenience as coal depots for an enemy. He also recommends a uniform system of organisation of armament for common defence, the amalgamation of forces into frontier corps, the establishment of a federal military college, the extension of rifle clubs, the establishment of a federal small arm 3 factory, and a gun wharf and ordnance score. In conclusion he says that, looking at the present situation in Europe, the defences of the colonies should at once be placed on a proper footing.
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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE., Evening Star, Issue 8038, 15 October 1889
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE. Evening Star, Issue 8038, 15 October 1889
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