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Friday, 11 September 1942

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) (Minister for the Army) . - This morning, the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Rankin) asked -me whether Mr. J. A. Mendes, of the Mayfair Hotel, Darlinghurst, .Sydney, had been granted exemption from military duties. As the result of inquiries, I am advised that on Friday last this man was called up by the Army for military service. The Department of Labour and National Service, in accordance with the usual practice, considered this case, and classified him as being available for military service, but allowed a stay of seven days for the .purpose of enabling him to attend to his domestic arrangements. Last Monday, he applied to the Central Police Court, Sydney, for exemption on the grounds of great hardship and, in accordance with the normal departmental procedure, his call-rip hai been deferred until his case is heard by the court. The hearing is expected to take place early next week. I am not aware of any boast by Mr. Mendes in the terms mentioned by the honorable al ember, but I have called for the file, and shall examine it, with a view to making the fullest investigation of the allegation. The honorable member will be further advised on the matter as soon as possible.

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