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Thursday, 3 September 1942

Mr WARD - The Allied Works Council is not under my control as Minister for Labour and National Service.

Mr Calwell - The officers who do the work are in the Department of Labour and National Service.

Mr WARD - The Minister for the Interior controls the Allied Works Council. Men who are called up for military service have the right of appeal to a magistrate when they consider that thai should be granted exemption on the ground of undue hardship.

Mr Conelan - Not always.

Mr WARD - The honorable member for Melbourne said that men who are called up on behalf of the Allied Works Council have to be approved by officers of the Department of Labour and National Service. I am not aware of any instance in which that has happened. The position is that the Allied Works Council is responsible for its own calls for manpower. All that the man-power officials are called upon to do is to indicate to the Allied Works Council any man who. being engaged in an essential industry, is not available for the call-up.

Mr Calwell - In Melbourne, the man-power officers determine whether a man is to go in or stay out under all circumstances.

Mr WARD - If the honorable member will bring to my notice specific instances of man-power officers having exceeded their powers in regard to these particular call-ups, I shall attend to the matter immediately.

Mr Calwell - What about the right of appeal ?

Mr WARD - The Prime Minister informs me that magistrates have now been appointed to hear such appeals.

Mr Rosevear - When were they appointed ?

Mr WARD - I do not know.

Mr Rosevear - They had not been appointed last week.

Mr WARD - I am of opinion that when men are called up for service, whether with the Allied Works Council or with the Array, and they believe that their service will impose great hardship upon them or their dependants, the final decision should not rest with a departmental officer. A person who desires relief should have the right of appeal. If I can do anything to assist to remove this difficulty, I shall be only too pleased to act.

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