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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr FORDE (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Army) -I never visited Rockhampton in a Liberator, as waa stated in Smith's Weekly.

Mr Rankin - Or in any other sort of aircraft?

Mr FORDE - I last visited' Rock.hampton three or four weeks ago and then I "travelled in a commercial aero1' plane; but it is true that on a number of occasions I have visited, not only Rockhampton, but also Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne" and other places in Australia in aRoyal Australian Air Force transport plane. As acting Minister for Defence and Minister for the Army, I am entitled to use this means of transport and thus save time. The last time I went to Queensland in a Royal Australian Air Force transport plane, I called at Rockhampton and Bundaberg, and also, at the request of the GovernorGeneral. I went to Brisbane to attend a meeting of the Executive Council. I think it is very paltry on the part of the honorable member to raise this matter in view of the fact that he was one of those who has used transport in Royal Australian Air Force planes from Melbourne to Canberra. Does he think that a Minister of the Crown is' not entitled to this quick, modem method of transport so that he may visit distant parts of Australia in the execution of his duty? While I was Acting Prime Minister 1 was able, by using a Royal Australian Air Force transport plane, to visit Perth, Busselton, Albany, Cunderdin,Whyalla, Renmark and Adelaide, and the people of those places had an opportunity to wait upon me in deputations. It is arrant nonsense for the honorable member to suggest that I have used Royal Australian Air Force transport planes for electioneering purposes. During the last two or three months, I visited central Queensland, southern Queensland and other places, and I maintain that a Minister of the Crown is justified in using this modern method of transport. Surely, a Minister of the Crown is as much entitled to use such Air Force aircraft as are available as are senior Army or Air Force officers who desire to fly from one part of Australia to another on official business. The honorable gentleman asked this question with tongue in cheek, knowing very well that he himself as a private member uses this means of transport.


Weaking of Military Uniforms.

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