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Thursday, 30 April 1942

Mr CURTIN (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Prime Minister) - That is true; and it is a fact that the number of men available is not sufficient to meet the require-, ments of full activity in respect to the land forces, the munitions programme, essential civil requirements, and all the works that have to be done in order to place this country in a position to undertake military operations most advantageously.

Mr Anthony - But there will not be enough labour to produce the food that is needed!

Mr James - Some tradesmen are being held in useless occupations.

Mr CURTIN - Complaints of all kinds are being made. The fact is, that with the present available man-power this country is not able to carry on fully all of those enterprises and activities. That is one of the problems for which the war is accountable. The sub-committee of Cabinet has been asked to try to meet the position by making positive recommendations. It is certain that when such recommendations are given effect there will have to be a curtailment of certain activities. I have no doubt that some sections of the community will regard such curtailment as unjustifiable, but it will represent the best decision at which the nation can arrive.

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