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Wednesday, 29 April 1942

Mr FALSTEIN - Last Monday theSydney Daily Telegraph published a letter written by Corporal Smart, who stated that -

While industry is being starved for want of skilled tradesmen, the Royal Australian Air Force is using all classes of tradesmen for fatigues and general messing around. I am a carpenter-joiner and spend most of my time doing jobs which any labourer could do.

Will the Minister for Air say whether that allegation is correct? If so, will he ensure that such a condition of affair? shall not be permitted to continue?

Mr DRAKEFORD - Although I have not seen the letter to which the honorable member referred, I have heard statements from time to time that skilled tradesmen are being utilized in the Royal Australian Air Force in occupations which do not give to them an opportunity fully to use their skill. At present, an investigation is being made for the purpose of ascertaining whether there are surplus men in the Department of Air, and whether men are correctly posted. The object is to ensure the employment of the men in the occupations in which their services will give the best return.

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