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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) . - Despite the assurance of the honorable .member for Bourke (Mr. Bryson), this bill will determine whether ex-servicemen shall have preference in employment. I have been impressed by the manner in which the Minister (Mr. Holloway) has answered certain questions, and. his attempts to clarify the purposes of this legislation. I propose to address to him a question, and from his answer, I shall know definitely whether I can support the bill. From people at Swan Hill, Mildura, Kerang and other centres in my electorate, I have received letters asking me about opportunities for men to enter certain trades. The purpose of the bill is to permit certain specified classes of individuals to obtain training in the five industries to which the measure applies. I wish to ask the Minister a direct question: Will the ex-servicemen who receive certificates of qualification as tradesmen be given absolute preference over all other persons to enter these particular trades when the industries can absorb more employees and when vacancies exist, and will they be entitled to trade-union membership? That, to my mind, is the crux of the matter.

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