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Thursday, 28 May 1942


Mr MARWICK - It may be a matter of control.


Mr CALWELL - I do not think that the wet canteen system can ever be properly controlled. The Canteens Board seems to be a powerful organization which can secure the services of carpenters and other tradesmen when it desires to establish wet canteens in camps where they do not already exist. I visited the camps at Mount Martha and Balcombe last Sunday, and learned that a wet canteen was to be established at the former camp. A hut which had been used by the men for drying their clothes had been taken for the purpose, and a counter was being fitted. Apparently, there was no difficulty in securing the services of tradesmen to do that work, although I understand that frequently difficulty is experienced in obtaining the services of tradesmen to perform other work around the camps. The Government would do well to look into the activities of the Canteens Board with a view to restricting its powers. I am not convinced that that body has been any more successful in its administration than have many other boards which have been established to do work which could be done better by departmental officers.







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