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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr FRANCIS (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) -I have received a letter from the broken-hearted, mother of a member of the Royal Australian Air

Force who is a member of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. She desires that members of that force shall be granted leave, because many of them are suffering a nervous breakdown. She says that she has received a letter from her son; who had " never written in that strain before ". This is a portion of the son's letter -

I don't know what is the real cause of it, but most of the jokers here have the hills closing' in on them, as we put it, but you go around feeling as though you are in a cage from which you can never escape.

Sis letter went, on to say that there are no cafes at which food can be obtained; that food is scarce; and the men have to exist on tinned meat. The worst feature is that which I am now about to relate. This woman said in her letter that recently a neighbour' had informed her that both she and her mother had wept when they had received advice from their brother and son respectively that one of his colleagues, a member of the Australian Imperial Force in the occupation force in Japan, had committed suicide by throwing himself under a train, so as to escape from the conditions under which. he had been living. Can the Minister for Air obtain some amenities for Australian members of the occupation force in Japan ? ' Will he consider the granting of leave, in order that these men may escape for a time from the conditions in which they are placed to-day?

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