RECRUITING AND PENSIONS. HON. J. ALLENINTERVIEWED. The Minister of Defence, who has returned from Wellington to Dunedin for a few davs, informed a 'Star' reporter today that'the new system as to recruiting for reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force lias received final approval, and will now be put into practice bv the Defence Department. The details" of the system arc purely technical, but its aim is of general public interest. "The principle of the system," Hon. J. Allen explained, " is to put into operation a procedure which shall enable the department to know exactly the number and localities of the recruits available for service, and to avoid the difficulty which has been embarrassing to several men who have volunteered, occasioned by recruits leaving their employment before being called upon to go into camp for training. The new system is devised to facilitate the organisation and training of periodical reinforcements, and to maintain a continuous recruiting without drawing men from industry long before they can be trained at Trentham and despatched to join the main force. Provision has to be made for a continuous ilow of reinforcements, and only a certain number of recruits can bo taken into camp at one time for training. But it is desired to know accurately where men can be-obtained for future lots We do not want to take men from their employment before it is necessary to do so. Such a system cannot be afforded, and it is neither necessary nor is it good policy. Men have been leaving their work, and then complaining because 'they have, not been straightaway taken into camp. I know of these- cases, aiid recognise tho difficulty several men have experienced as a consequence. That difficulty need not be incurred, and we hope to be able to prevent hardship. The position now is this : The next two lots of reinforcements (3rd and 4th) are complete—officers, non-commissioned officers, and men—and the sth reinforcement is pretty well filled up. Next month the men for the sth reinforcement will be taken into camp, but we do, not want them to leave, their work until called upon. Men should, after registering their names, go on with their ordinary employment until they receive notice to enter camp. Under the new system cards will be issued, and recruits will be able to inform the department how much notice they require to leave their work and go into camp." —The Question of Pensions.—
The Minister also referred to the matter of military pensions as provided in the Defence Act of 1909. He pointed out that in addition to the pensions stated in tho schedule of the Act iwhich were published by this journal yesterday) provision is made for special allowances to relatives. Section 79 of the Act provides, lor example, that "if an officer, non-commis-sioned officer, or private is killed in action or dies of his wounds, and leaves a widow or children, or both, a- gratuity of one year's pay of the regimental commission held by him may be given to his widow, in addition to her pension, and one-third of such gratuity to each of his children under age and unmarried."
" Let me say this, however." remarked Mr Allen : "' the final word has not been said about pensions. 1 a»n personally inquiring- into the whole question, and am obtaining the particulars of the Australian scheme, which wa; established only recently. I consider that on questions like it is wise to make them in harmony with Australia. I shall examine both systems, in order to find out what is the. fair thing to do." —Care of Troop Horses.—
The Minister expressed his pleasure at the results of'the shipment of troop horses to Egypt. Although the death rate was remarkably low during the voyage, the most remarkable result was the condition in which the horses were landed—a condition of fitness (hat has occasioned favorable comment. It seemed to him that this demonstrated that the troopers must have exercised thorough attention upon the horses under their care. It speaks volumes for the men, and is proof of the quality of the horses. He mentioned that so far no difficulty has been experienced m obtaining horses for the reinforcements. As regards equipment for the reinforcements, arrangements are going forward to obtain all that is necessary. It has been decided to got the harness for horses manufactured in the Dominion, and it is hoped that the manufacturers will prove equal to the occasion in producing first-class material.
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EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, Evening Star, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE Evening Star, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915
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