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Friday, 21 November 1941

Mr FORDE - On the 18th November, the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. James) asked me whether I would issue instructions that young miners who were in militia camps or on the way to Darwin for garrison duty should be exempted from service and employed in the mines in order to relieve the shortage of that class of labour in the coal-mining industry.

Advice has now been received that an investigation is now being made into the cases of coal-miners who, at the time of their registration for universal training, were unemployed and were registered as such. Arrangements will be made for their release from military training immediately verification is received, in each individual case, that employment in the mining industry is available to the man concerned. In the meantime, men who are included in drafts to proceed to Darwin will be withdrawn, if there be any likelihood of their being subsequently employed as miners.

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