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Wednesday, 9 March 1932


Mr FRANCIS - Any stocks of surplus stores that can be so distributed are already being made available through charitable organizations. If the honorable member or responsible authorities will make application to the Commandant at the Victoria Barracks, Sydney, advice will be furnished in regard to the distribution of any stores which may be available.


Mr MAKIN - In view of the tragic circumstances in which many of our unemployed will be placed during the coming winter, will the Commonwealth Government exploit every avenue in an effort to afford relief and sustenance to those who will suffer?


Mr LYONS - If the Commonwealth Government takes such action, it will be for the first time in the history of this country, and entirely out of keeping with the methods that were adopted by the Scullin Government. I assure the honorable member that this Government is much concerned about the condition of our unemployed, and that it is giving the problem special attention. It especially will do all in its power to relieve their distress during the winter months.

Mr.WHITE. - Is it a fact that the Stores Branch of the Defence Department has already distributed clothing to the value of approximately £150,000 to necessitous cases in the different States, in addition to relief granted by the States.? Further, can the Assistant Minister for Defence inform the House whether the supply of military clothing is so dangerously depleted that mobilization would be retarded if Australia were involved in hostilities?


Mr FRANCIS - The Commonwealth Government has distributed as much as possible of the military clothing that is available, and an investigation is now being made to guide its future action in that direction. I am unable to confirm the fears that he expresses in the con- cluding sentence of his question.







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