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Thursday, 30 April 1942

Mr MULCAHY (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Labour and National Service made aware of the decisions of police magistrates who preside over courts dealing with applicants for exemption from military service on. the ground of hardship? In some cases magistrates have instructed an applicant who, possibly, is the single owner of . a business, that he must either sell or otherwise dispose of his business within three months and then be ready to go into camp. I ask the Minister to look into the facts of the case of John Remfrey, of Arncliffe, New South Wales, whose application for exemption was heard before the Kogarah Court on the 2nd April, 1942. Mr. Remfrey is the sole proprietor of a small business and is r.he only supporter of an aged father and mother. The police magistrate told the a applicant that hia business must be either sold or closed by the 30th June.

Mr WARD - The handling of applications for exemption on the ground of hardship by police magistrates has proved to be unsatisfactory because of discrepancies between the decisions given. On Saturday next I have arranged to discuss this subject with the Minister for Justice in New South Wales, and the particular case referred to will receive close attention. I also propose to hold a conference with the appropriate authorities in the other States and I trust that there will be greater uniformity in the decisions of magistrates in the future. In some instances the police magistrates are making what I consider to be unwarranted decisions, and they will be given to understand that in cases of hardship they are asked to determine on the facts. They will also be told that it is not their duty to send every one into the army, irrespective of the amount of hardship involved.

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