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Thursday, 27 June 1946


Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) .- I take the opportunity provided by the presentation of this bill to make an additional £20,000,000 available to the Government to discuss certain subjects which are causing general dissatisfaction among ex-service mcn and women throughout Australia. There are many grievances requiring ventilation, but as the time limitation will not permit me to deal with all of them, I propose to refer mainly to the bungling that is occurring in connexion with rehabilitation plans. As a returned soldier I protest strongly against the attitude that the Government is adopting. There is serious dissatisfaction among returned men over the vocational training " set-up ". Our men expected that when they were discharged from the forces they would be able to settle down speedily in the industries of their choice. Those who needed vocational training for more skilled industries than they had previously been employed in visualized entering upon their training immediately. The fact is, however, that training in almost every respect is lagging seriously behind requirements. An obligation rests upon the Government and its supporters to fulfil the promises made to men and women when they .joined the various services. No excuses can justify the failure of the Government to honour these undertakings. Demobilized personnel who desire to return to businesses in which they were formerly engaged, or who wish to establish new businesses, expected to have their deferred pay and other promised financial resources made available to them for immediate use, but they are finding that difficulties of all kinds are obstructing their progress. Materials and supplies of all descriptions, premises, and other requirements for the establishment of businesses are practically unavailable in many cases. The Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman) may make grimaces, but unfortunately that does not solve the difficulties to which I am referring. Former servicemen are especially aggrieved about their inability to obtain tools of trade.







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