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Thursday, 28 May 1942

Sir FREDERICK STEWART (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Minister for the Army inform the House of the reasons for the nonobservance so far of his decision announced some time ago that members of the Militia may now enlist in the Australian Imperial Force? My question is prompted by personal knowledge of a unit in Sydney which offered almost en bloc to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force, but could get no satisfaction from its commanding officer.

Mr FORDE - I discussed this matter by telephone to-day with the AdjutantGeneral in Melbourne. He said that the preparation of instructions for distribution to the commanding officers throughout Australia required a great deal of work and the delay that had occurred in the despatch of those instructions was inevitable.

Mr Spender - Could not the instruc- tions be sent out by telegram?

Mr FORDE - I suggested that course, but the Adjutant-General said that it would lead to all kinds of misunderstandings, and that it had been decided to send out the instructions by post. He said that in the opinion of the CommanderinChief and himself there was no great urgency about the matter so long as the instructions were issued as expeditiously as possible. The AdjutantGeneral was directed to issue the instructions expeditiously, and he assures me that that direction is being obeyed.

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