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Tuesday, 2 June 1942


Mr RYAN (Flinders) . - Some days ago, I asked the Minister for the Army (Mr. Forde) what arrangements the Government proposed to make to ensure that soldiers on leave would receive their quota of rationed food. The reply that I received was to the effect that no arrangements had been made, and apparently no such provision was contemplated. I regard that reply as far from satisfactory. I do not suggest that the position is acute, but considerable dissatisfaction is felt among the troops regarding the present arrangements. A soldier on leave now receives a sustenance allowance of 2s. 5d. a day on certain conditions, but the allowance is of no use to him unless he can buy the commodities that are available, and one commodity that he frequently desires is tea. A soldier is entitled to two days' leave a month or five days' leave every two months. The Government has indicated that soldiers will be granted seasonal leave for services in connexion with primary production, and also leave for seeding operations, which will mean a considerable period of absence from their units. On these occasions, it is desirable and necessary that they should be provided with ration tickets to enable them to 'buy the food that they will require when on leave.


Mr Duncan-Hughes - Some of the food that they would require is not obtainable.


Mr RYAN - That is so, but I am speaking, of course, of the commodities that are available and may be placed on the list of rationed goods. In the last war, ration tickets were issued to soldiers serving in France when visiting England on leave. An arrangement should be made so that, if food is more severely rationed than at present, such men will be in the position to buy the goods that they need.







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