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Thursday, 24 September 1942
Page: 941

Mr Calwell l asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Will he consult with the Minister for the Army onthe action of the Department of the Army in disrating and reducing to the ranks 300 corporals and sergeants, who are mostly returned soldiers of the last war and are nearly all men over 45 years of age, because they are to be replaced by members of the Australian Women's Army Service in the District Finance Office, Melbourne?

2.   Will he announce whether the men so reduced, who are to be transferred to a labour corps, will be permitted to resign from the Australian Military Forces and engage in the industrial life of the community as civilians at award rates of pay?

Mr Curtin - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Three hundred membersofthe staff of District Finance Office, Victoria, have not been disrated and reduced to the ranks because they are to be replaced by members of the Australian Women's Army Service. The facts are that 21 sergeants and corporals of the stall of District Finance Office have been recommended to be displaced.Ten of these were recommended for discharge on the grounds of inefficiency, six for transfer to labour companies as inefficient and lazy, and five to be examined by a medical board on the grounds of ill health. The disposition of these five will be regulated according to the report, of the medical board,i.e., discharged medically unfit or transferred.

2.   Members displaced in the District Finance Office will be utilized in the Army if required and if not will be discharged to return to civil life.

Australian Broadcasting Commission: Broadcast of Addresses.

Mr Lawson (BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND) (Minister Assisting the Postmaster-General) n. - On the 22nd September the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Pollard.) asked the following question, without notice: -

Will the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral take such action that in future, any address on a matter of public importance, such as the broadcastby Professor Woodruff from Wesley Church, may be broadcast in a temperate manner?

The Postmaster-General has supplied the following information : -

It is not competent for the PostmasterGeneral to take any such action because the responsibility invested in the Australian Broadcasting Commission by Parliament stipulates that the commission shall provide and shall broadcast adequate and comprehensive programmes, and shall take in the interests of the community all such measures as in the opinion of the commission, are conducive to the full development of suitable broadcast programmes. Therefore, so far as the Australian Broadcasting Commission, is concerned, the arrangement of programmes and the engagement of the people to participate therein, is entirely a question for decision by the commission.

Ministerial Duties : Assistance by Private Members.

Mr Archie Cameron (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aircraft Production) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   How many senators and members are assisting Ministers in the present Government?

2.   What aretheir names?

3.   What fees, expenses or emoluments are paid to each; and on what basis?

4.   What petrol ration does each of them receive?

5.   What other concessions in cash or in kind does each of them receive either personally or by deputy?

6.   Which senators or members supporting the Government are serving on parliamentary committees and/or commissions.

7.   What do they receive under paragraphs 3, 4 and5 above ?

8.   What fees, &c., paid under paragraphs 3. 4 and 5 are subject to income taxation?

Mr Curtin n-. - The information is being obtained and a imply will be furnished to the honorable member as early as possible.

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