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Wednesday, 16 November 1938

Mr GREEN (Kalgoorlie) . - I direct the attention of the Minister for Defence (Mr. Street) 'to certain apparently unfair circumstances concerning an application made by a young man named Glover to enter the Naval College. The parents of this boy live at Wiluna, in Western Australia. It is a good thing that boys from any part of the Commonwealth may enter the Naval College. In this particular case, however, there seems to be ample room for complaint. The boy's mother has written to me on the subject, and pointed out that it was necessary for him to pass first, a prescribed educational examination, then a medical examination, and then an exam- ination by an interviewing committee appointed by the Naval Board. The boy attended school at Northam,Western Australia, and passed the required educational examination. Two days later, he was out riding and had the misfortune to break his leg. The Naval Office was informed of the accident, and it requested a medical practitioner at Northam to make an examination, which was done immediately. After receiving the doctor's report the interviewing committee advised the boy to hold himself in readiness to go to Adelaide to appear before it. Seven weeks after the accident the doctor gave the boy permission to travel to Adelaide, and stated that there was no danger of the break causing any ill effects. Four days after he received word to hold himself in readiness to go to Adelaide a notification came to hand to the effect that, in consequence of his accident, the boy had forfeited his opportunity to appear before the interviewing committee. The boy's mother felt very hurt over this apparent injustice. She stated in her letter to me -

I consider that he has been very unfairly treated in not being given a chance to appear before the interviewing committee, and I thought that you might assist me to see that he gets a fair deal.

The boy has passed the prescribed examinations and I point out that the booklet dealing with conditions for entry to the Naval College states -

A candidate who is prevented by illness from appearing before the interviewing committee will be dealt with according to the individual merits of the case.

As the interviewing committee knew of his broken leg before it advised the lad to hold himself in readiness to go to Adelaide, it seems hard to understand why it subsequently countermanded the order. The matter is of considerable importance to the boy, as he will lose his chance to enter the Naval College unless he can do so following upon this examination, for he is at present thirteen years of age. I ask the Minister for Defence whether he will be good enough to take the matter up for me without delay.

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