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Wednesday, 29 April 1942

Mr ROSEVEAR - A question which I wish to direct to the Minister for Air is based upon the case of a man who, for the last twenty years, has been conducting a business with an annual turnover of £200,000. This man applied for a position on the administrative staff of the Royal Australian Air Force, and, in spite of his proved capacity as a business mau, he was asked what school he had attended. I ask the Minister what relationship there is between the school a man attended and his proved capacity to manage a business, especially as, possibly, all he would be called upon to do in the Air Force would be a clerical job? ls the " old school tie " still permitted to exercise influence in the Air Force?

Mr DRAKEFORD - From what the honorable member has said I should say that the applicant to whom he refers has been asked the same question as is asked of all candidates for special and administrative jobs. Of these there are more than 20,000, and some of them must necessarily be disappointed. Whether it is right to ask what school was attended is a matter of opinion - I have my own opinion - but it is the policy applied. The applicants have to appear before a board of interviewers which consists of three people, who record their views as to applicants' qualifications. Those views are taken into consideration when appointments are made. I can quite understand that many people who, in former life, have earned big incomes, are disappointed. It seems to indicate that all applicants are examined thoroughly and that appointments are made regardless of previous earnings.

Mr Rosevear - But why are applicants asked what school they attended?

Mr DRAKEFORD - In order that their educational qualifications may be ascertained.

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