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Wednesday, 29 April 1942

Mr FORDE - That is the existing practice.

Mr Calwell - That is not the existing practice, because young men hav( been sent direct to battle stations. I have received a number of letters of complaint about it.

Mr FORDE - I repeat that what was suggested by the honorable member for Bendigo is the existing practice, as the result of a definite instruction given by me. It is true that certain men between the ages of eighteen and nineteen were sent to distant battle stations some months ago. They have now had about four months' training. Some units to which young men had been recruited in Victoria and, I believe, other parts of the Commonwealth, were moved to other States. Many parents thought that the boys were being sent to the islands to the north of Australia, or to Darwin. In fact, one unit was sent to a most delightful place in Western Australia, and another to one of the most favoured spots in southern Queensland where, I am assured, they are living under the .best conditions and are receiving expert training.

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