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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr MAKIN (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aircraft Production) - In accordance with my promise to the honorable member, I referred the matter to the Naval Board for further consideration. I have ascertained that the statutory regulations governing it are definite and preclude the exercise of discretionary power which it might be thought the Naval Board would have. Under those regulations, a member of the Navy who has been absent without leave for a period is automatically posted as a deserter, and loses his entitlement to what is described as deferred pay. I have consulted the Prime Minister about the matter generally. It is considered that the time may have arrived when there should be a different method of imposing discipline, and that a determination should be reached as to whether money now described as deferred pay should be 50 regarded or be placed in the category of good conduct pay. The Prime Minister has agreed with me that a committee to determine the matter should be set up, and I am glad to announce that the right honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin) and Mr. Watt, a Treasury official, are examining every aspect of this and all other cases of the kind which from time to time have been placed before me. I trust that a satisfactory adjustment may be possible. .

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