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Thursday, 17 September 1942

Mr DRAKEFORD (MaribyrnongMinister for Air) .- The honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) considers, from what he has learned recently, that men and women connected with the Royal Australian Air Force are doing considerably more railway travelling now than is necessary. If 25 women were found to be travelling in the wrong direction, I remind the honorable member that a similar experience befell other people in a train that left Canberra recently. The passengers were bound for Melbourne, but finished up in Sydney. If the statement of the honorable member is correct, something is radically wrong. I am not aware of any excessive travelling. Instructions have been given that no excessive travelling shall be indulged in, and that officers who find it necessary to travel must not takewith them an unnecessary number of persons of lower rank. No doubt mistakes occur, and the instance cited by the honorable member of a recruit who came from Tasmania to Shepparton and got a uniform, and was then sent from Melbourne to Adelaide, seems to show that he was on a sort of Cook's tour. If the facts in that case are as the honorable member has stated, there must be lack of supervision. If the honorable member will furnish me with the date of the incident and other details, I shall do what I can to investigate his complaint.

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