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Friday, 26 February 1932

Mr FRANCIS - Yesterday the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. James) asked the following question, without notice : -

In view of the fact that it is the declared policy of the Minister for Defence that, in the further distribution of surplus military clothing, the Government will allocate it to charitable institutions in the Sydney metropolitan area, thereby debarring charitable organizations in the country from securing such clothing, will the Minister consider reviewing this policy, and see that surplus stocks of this clothing are made available to the unemployed during the coming winter?

I am now in a position to inform the honorable member that it is impracticable for the Defence Department to undertake the distribution throughout the State of New South Wales of such surplus or part-worn military clothing as may become available from time to time. In the State of New South Wales where the State Government will not undertake the distribution, it has been decided that all unserviceable articles available for free issue in New South Wales are to be handed over to recognized charitable institutions selected by the Base Commandant in collaboration with the State Chief Secretary's Department. The Commonwealth Government does not desire to restrict the issue to charitable institutions in the metropolitan area. Inquiries will be made as to whether any surplus military clothing beyond that already allocated is likely to be available for issue.

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