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Friday, 29 March 1946

Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) ,- I ' desire to bring to the notice of the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) a telegram that I have received within the last few minutes from Mr. A. V. Servin, Queensland president of the Demobilized Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Association. It states -

Seek your support connexion with following telegram: - Sent Prime Minister reference exclusion land army girls victory contingent for London. General feeling appears to be support for land army girls inclusion and that girls receive far greater recognition by Government than at present. We plead even this late hour reconsideration by Government and immediate action to have representative land: army girls each state attend London Victory Parade.

During the wai' we had an army in the field, an army in the munitions factories, and an army producing food. The Australian Women's Land Army performed a vital task. In the South-West Pacific Area there were more than 1,000,000 troops at the height of the campaign in that theatre, and the work of members of the Land Army girls was an important factor in the provision of food for these men, as well as for the people of Great Britain and our own forces both here and overseas. Throughout the war members of the Women's Land Army did not receive ' any special recognition of their services. Members of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force, the Australian Women's Army Service, and Women's Royal Australian Navy Service, enjoyed all sorts of concessions, including reduced tram fares, special postal and telegraphic rates, holidays, Asc., and quite rightly so; but' the members of the Women's Land Army who worked solidly at an unfamiliar and arduous job, and performed a great national service, enjoyed no such privileges. I ask the Prime Minister to give . consideration to the request that representatives of the Women's Land Army be included in the Australian contingent to go overseas for the peace celebrations, and thus remedy an injustice suffered by these women during the period of their sei- vice. I have seen the Women's Land Army at work in many centres, and its achievements have been outstanding. The women worked with enthusiasm prompted by patriotic fervour.

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