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Tuesday, 14 May 1957


Mr MAKIN (Bonython) .- I made some comment in an earlier debate on the principle of the lottery that is to be instituted for the selection of those who are to be called upon for national training. I then indicated the unsatisfactory character of this method of recruiting. I feel that it is an unscientific approach and gives no guarantee of obtaining the best material available. Furthermore, those called up might not be so interested in training for national defence as others would be, and they would not be so ready to equip themselves with the knowledge of their duties. I say again that the Government is not making the practical approach to this problem that might be expected of it. Possibly this is the first occasion on which this principle has been proposed for the selection of trainees for defence purposes.


Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - It is the first time that it has been proposed in this country.


Mr MAKIN - It may have been adopted in other countries, but the authorities in

Australia have no experience of such a plan to enable them to deal with pitfalls that might be encountered. We need a more positive assurance from the Minister regarding the efficiency of the scheme that is proposed. Surely the best material would be provided by voluntary enlistment. Only in that way could we have in the services young men who were vitally interested in becoming efficient units in a defence scheme adequate to the needs of this country. I would earnestly ask that this question be weighed a little more seriously by the Government, and that reasons be given as to why the proposed method should be adopted in preference to the more direct selection of men on the basis of fitness for national training.


Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I suggest that clause 15 would be a more appropriate place to discuss this aspect. I might have misled the committee by answering my colleague at this stage.







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