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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Mr SHEEHAN (Cook) .- 1 too wish to make a reference to the preservers of democracy. I bring to the notice of the Prime Minister certain difficulties concerning the call-up of men for the Militia, and the volunteering of men for the Australian Imperial Force. Some time ago it was proposed that a rent allowance should he granted to soldiers in the forces, but the matter seems to have dropped out of sight. Many married men are now being called up for definite service, but no provision has been made for a rent allowance for them. Some of the men have been in receipt of high salaries or wages, but have had to enter camp under financial conditions which, unless remedied, will destroy their home life and make it impossible for them to provide educational facilities for their children. Men who have been paying fairly high rents to landlords, or are meeting substantial instalments on the purchase of their own homes, or have certain commitments in regard to hire-purchase agreements, are receiving, as members of the forces, such a small remuneration that it is impossible for them to meet their various obligations. Family life is the rock on which this nation stands, and if it should be submerged, our democracy will not be preserved. The Government, in my view, is not meeting its responsibilities to the men who are being called up, and I ask the Prime Minister to give' this matter his immediate attention with the object of providing the proposed rent allowance.

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