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The Canberra Times, 18 November 1944
Naval Cadets Beaten With Shoe, Not Birch, Minister Admits
Not a birch, but the back of a clothes brush or a gymnasium shoe, was used to punish cadets at Flinders Naval Base, the Minister for the Navy (Mr. Makin) said in the House of Representatives yesterday.
Mr. Makin was replying to allegations by Sir Frederick Stewart about the punishment administered to cadets at the depot.
On November 5, four cadet midshipmen of the 2nd year and the whole of the first year cadets were subject to certain correction from the Chief Cadet Captain for certain minor offences, Mr. Makin said. On Sunday, November 12, another cadet received similar correction.
In each of the cases, no punishment by birching was administered. It was either by the back of a clothes brush or a gymnasium shoe.
This it appeared, Mr. Makin said, had been the practice where slackness and indifference to duty had become evidence amongst those in the cadet course. Disciplinary offences of more than a very minor nature were dealt with by commissioned officers.
Mr. Makin said he intended taking up the matter with the First Naval Member to see that no improper disciplinary authority was used.
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