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Thursday, 28 March 1946

Mr Ryan n asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Will he read an item in a Sydney Sunday newspaper of the 24th March, in which a Dutch ex-internee asks his Australian friends, Former prisoners of war in Java, if they remember that his wife and children risked their lives to smuggle supplies into the camps, and concluding, " Do you know that countrymen of yours now keep from my wife and children the very things they brought to you with great risk for their liberty and theirlives? Do youknow that my wife and children are still living in camps, that they are still urgently in want of sufficient food and medicines "?

2.   Will he, after reading this item, suggest to all organizations of ex-servicemen that copies should be printed for distribution to all their members?

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

1.   The Prime Minister is aware of the contents of the item referred to' by the honorable member.

2.   ThePrime Minister regrets that he cannot see his way clear to adopt the suggestion.

Re-establishment : Malarial Ex-servicemen .

Mr Chifley y. - Yesterday the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) asked the following question : -

Will thePrime Minister state whether exservicemen who contracted malaria are prohibited from obtaining positions in the Public Service? Is it a fact that malaria cases are not accepted as pensionable by the Repatriation Commission? If so, will the right honorable gentleman explain why ex-servicemen who contracted malaria in the execution of their duty are penalized by being prevented from obtaining positions in the Public Service?

The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows : -

No. The fact of having contracted malaria does not itself prohibit appointment to the Commonweal th Public Service. All appointees must pass a medical examination, but there is provision in the Public Service Act for the admission of servicemen who do not reach the health standard required of other entrants. War pensions are granted in respect of incapacity arising from malaria in the same manner as incapacity arising from any other disability.

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