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Thursday, 7 May 1942

Mr FORDE - I am aware that there is a shortage of equipment for the Volunteer Defence Corps throughout Australia. All possible steps are being taken to expedite supplies of military equipment but, necessarily, preference will be given to the Australian Militia Forces and the Australian Imperial Force. However, as the war establishment of those forces and the Volunteer Defence Corps has been greatly increased, it has not been possible to supply all of them with the necessary equipment. I assure the honorable member that special attention is being given to the requirements of the Volunteer Defence Corps and that priority is being given to branches of the corps which are established in areas which the Government's military advisers consider to be the more vulnerable. I shall keep in mind the strong representations made by the honorable member on this matter, not only to-day but also on several previous occasions.

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