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Friday, 11 September 1942

Mr CALWELL - What Minister is responsible ?

Mr WARD - The Minister for the Interior.

Mr ANTHONY - In view of the contradictory statements concerning the responsibility for call-ups by the Allied Works Council, will the Minister for Labour and National Service say whether it is a fact that no one can be called up by that organization unless his name is selected from a list supplied by the department, and that, therefore, the real responsibility for call-ups rests, not with the Department of the Interior, but with the Department of Labour and National Service ?

Mr WARD - In order that the honorable member may understand all the details of the operations of the Allied Works Council, I shall indicate as soon as possible in a statement to the House the exact nature of the arrangement. But so that the honorable member will be under no misapprehension at the moment regarding the arrangement, I repeat that the call-up and the selection of men required by the council is the responsibility of, and is carried out by, that organization. The Allied Works Council is under the direct control, not of the Minister for Labour and National Service, but of the Minister for the Interior.

Mr Anthony - But the names on the register are not?

Mr WARD - The National Register is under the control of the Department of Labour and National Service, and this information is available to the Allied Works Council, -which is responsible for the call-up and selection of the men. Cases have been brought to the notice of the Allied Works Council of men being taken from essential works, and I have received complaints that information supplied by my department sometimes has been disregarded. Within the next few days, I shall prepare a complete statement for the purpose of indicating exactly how far the arrangement involves the Department of Labour and National Service.

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