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Tuesday, 29 September 1942

Mr HOLT (Fawkner) .- A few days ago, I directed the attention of the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) to an anomaly that is created by the present policy of the Government. I refer to units of the Royal Australian Air Force which, operating from an Australian base, fly hundreds of miles from Australia and come into direct contact with the enemy. Their service exposes them to greater hazards than those which fighter squadrons, based beyond Australia, face.

Mr Curtin - The term "fighting services " has been described in a variety of ways. Does the honorable member consider that it should include merchant seamen ?

Mr HOLT - I understand that the honorable member for New England (Mr.' Abbott) proposes to refer to the position of merchant seamen in a few moments. I am of opinion that the principle should apply to them also. They carry on most hazardous work. The Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) will be immediately impressed with the anomalies created by the present provision. The man who fights under hazardous conditions hundreds of miles from the Australian shore is not regarded, for purposes of taxation, as being beyond the territory of Australia. I stress the desirability of making special provision in such cases.

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