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Thursday, 17 September 1942

Mr Calwell l asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

Willhe lay on the table of the House the letter, dated 22nd August, 1940, addressed to the Prime Minister by Mr. A. B. Piddington, K.C.?

Mr Curtin - In my view Mr. Piddington's letter should not be made public without his consent.

Australianarmy: Leave; Juniors in Servicein Forward Positions.

Mr Conelan (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) n asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1.   Is it afact that, routine orders recently issued fixed recreation leave for members of the forces at two days a month?

2.   Is it a fact that leave can he accumulated in certain instances for twelve months?

3.   Is it a fact that many members of the service have recreation leave due now, in some cases for three years, i.e., nine weeks' arrears - and have not been able to take leave owing to existing circumstances?

4.   What is the position with respect to leave due? Will itbe grunted or will it he lost?

5.   With regard to members of the forces returned from overseas, will they be allowed to take the balance of leave due, in addition to the seven or eight days already received, at an early date if not in the war zone, and at the first opportunity if in the war zone?

Mr Forde - The answers to the honorablemember's questions are as follows: -

1.   By a recent General Routine Order recreation leave may, subject to certain conditions, be granted on the basis of two days a month. 2.Yes.

3.   Some members will have accumulated leave due for the years 1940-41 and 1941-42., and in the case of some who have served at an approved tropical or remote locality, for the year 1939-40 also. 4.It will be granted.

5.   The granting of leave is always subject to operational requirements. When certain units of the Australian Imperial Force returned from overseas special leave of seven days exclusive of travelling time, but not to exceed 21 days in all, was granted to members of those units. That period was the maximum which could be granted at that time. Later, when other units of the Australian Imperial Force returned from overseas it was found possible to grant special leave of fourteen days exclusive of travelling time but not to exceed 28 days in all. Any recreation leave granted to those members since their return will be on the same basis as other members of the Australian Military Forces.

Mr Francis (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) s asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice - 1.Is it a fact that some time ago he stated that no member of the forces who had not been adequately trained or was under the age of eighteen years would be sent to advanced battle stations?

2.   If so, will he inform the House why this is continuing to happen and what action is he taking to prevent any further cases?

Mr Forde - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes. As the honorable member is aware, no person under the age of eighteen years is liable for service and such persons are not called up.

2.   The instructions provide that universal service personnel who, on being called up, are under the age of twenty years, will be allotted to training unitsand will not be posted to units until they have received six months' training, unless after three months' training they reach the age of twenty years. I have been assured that cases such as are referred to by the honorable member are not now occurring.

Mr RANKIN (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) k asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   What is the position with regard to the excess profits on resale of wool under the original wool agreement with Britain?

2.   Has any change been made in these conditions in the recent review of that agreement?

3.   Will the Australian share of these profits be distributed to the rightful owners, the woolgrowers, at the conclusion of the war?

Mr Curtin - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The arrangement provides that the United Kingdom Government shall pay to the Commonwealth Government 50 per cent. of the profits made by the former Government on Australian wool sold for use outside the United Kingdom. As wool is still being sold for use outside the United Kingdom fromall three clips handled since the scheme was; inaugurated in September, 1939 (namely, woolseason 1939-40, 1940-41, 1941-42),it is not possible to take an account of the profits made on such re-sold wool season by season. The taking out of the profits of suchsales of wool outside the United Kingdom must, therefore, await the winding-up of the wool scheme at the conclusion of the war-time purchase arrangement made with the United Kingdom Government.

2.   No.

3.   Yes. in proportion to their contributions of wool to the whole scheme during its operation.

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