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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr LAZZARINI - If the honorable member considers that the bill has no merit, why does he want any of its provisions to be extended?

Mr HOLT - Some benefit will be conferred by the bill, even though it be to a very limited group of persons. I am determined to put the Government to the test of showing whether it genuinely desires to give an opportunity to those persons to come under the scheme. If it dees, it will not fix a period of eligibility which, in respect of most of the men, has already expired, but will fix a period that has some relation to the circumstances in which those men are placed. One justification for the- period 'that I shall propose is that the Government, in connexion with the general ' reconstruction training scheme under the Re-establishment and Employment Act, has extended the period of eligibility. If it be sound, and fair to make that provision in respect of . the general reconstruction training scheme, it must be fair also in respect of this scheme. Honorable members opposite who profess to have some regard for the1 rights of ex-servicemen can prove their bona fides on this issue. If they are genuine, they will not support a proposal which would automatically place beyond the allotted time many of the persons whom the- bill purports to benefit. I therefore move -

That, in sub-clause (4.) the words "six months after the date of discharge of the member of the Forces or after the twentysecond day of March, One thousand nine hundred and forty-six (being the date of commencement of the National Security (Trades Dilution) Regulations (No. 2) ", be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - "twelve months after the date of discharge of the member of the Forces or after the thirtieth day of June, One thousand nine hundred and forty-seven ".

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