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Monday, 5 June 1939

Sir CHARLES MARR (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister seen reports published in the Sydney newspapers that, in the first cavalry and divisional signals unit due to go into camp, 75 per cent. of the men were without uniforms? It was also stated in the report, that a considerable number of resignations had been received by officers commanding those units, because of the lack of uniforms and other equipment?

Mr STREET - I have not seen- the report. I again direct attention to the memorandum which I circulated to honorable members recently regarding clothing for the military forces. In that communication, emphasis was laid on the fact that normally a recruit does not get a uniform until he has been in the force for three months. In accordance with a decision made in February, it was decided to issue uniforms as quickly as possible. I have nothing to add to the circulated statement, which sets out the position very fully. I know nothing about the alleged retirements.

Sir CHARLES MARR - In view of the fact that it is not usual to issue military clothing to recruits until they have been in the forces for three months, will the Minister for Defence consider the issuing of warmer clothing to men going into camp during tho present cold season other than the ordinary dungaree suits which are conducive to the contraction of pneumonia. It is a fact that recently, when the 4th Battalion in New South Wales was sent into camp without uniforms, citizens of Burwood contributed funds with which uniforms for this battalion were purchased, and that sales tax was charged on those uniforms?

Mr STREET - The answer to the first part of the honorable member's question is, " Yes ". I have no information concerning the second part of his question, but shall be glad to obtain from him any particulars regarding the matter which he may have in his possession.

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