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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) . - I support the amendment. This afternoon I asked the Minister for Labour and National Service ' (Mr. ' Holloway) whether absolute preference would be given to an ex-serviceman to enter a trade c for which he had qualified when that trade was able to absorb more men. The Minister did not give an affirmative answer to my question, 'and, therefore, it is necessary that the organization which represents ex-servicemen should be entitled to nominate a representative to sit on this committee. The honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Pollard) has referred to other authorities concerning which no protest was made by the Opposition that ex-servicemen were not being" given special consideration. As the Minister, for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully) is inviting certain organizations to nominate representatives to certain boards, surely the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of

Australia should have a right to make nominations to the proposed committees. The Minister for Transport (Mr. Ward) referred to many promises that have been made; hut he did not tell us about the promises made to the men -who went overseas. Those who remained in Australia in comfortable well-paid jobs, do not understand the reason for preference. The honorable member for Ballarat praised the present Government because it increased the pay of the private soldier by ls. a day.

The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member to deal with the clause.

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) - I was replying to the honorable member for Ballarat who did not tell'us that the extra ls. a day was paid to every soldier, including generals.

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must deal with the clause.

Mr TURNBULL (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) - The honorable member for Ballarat also said that exservicemen wish to Be treated as normal members of the community. I agree, but after six years of war, some of which were probably spent in a prison camp, men require rehabilitation. The Minister for Transport does not understand such things. The Government believes in preference to unionists, but ex-servicemen have stronger claims on the community. At the forthcoming elections the people will show that they believe that ex-servicemen should be given preference.

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