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Tuesday, 14 May 1957


Mr WILSON (Sturt) .- I oppose this clause because I feel that it has been drafted under a misconception. It proposes the deletion of certain words from section 28 of the principal act, which reads -as follows: -

A person is not liable to render service under this Ac: beyond the limits of Australia unless he has volunteered as prescribed for service beyond those limits.

The clause proposes that the words " unless he has volunteered as prescribed for service beyond those limits " shall be deleted. The obvious intention was to make amendments consequential to the decision that national service trainees shall not now go into either the Navy or the Air Force, but in my opinion the fact has been overlooked that national service trainees, when joining the Citizen Military Forces, volunteer, in many instances, for service overseas. Consequently, I consider that the words " unless he has volunteered as prescribed for service beyond those limits " must remain in the principal act. It is obvious that a person cannot volunteer for service in a force in respect of which he is compulsorily made to serve. Therefore, if members of the C.M.F. wish to serve overseas, provision must be made for them, as persons who have been compelled by the National Service Act to undertake national service training and, later, training in the C.M.F., to volunteer for service overseas.

I feel that this clause has been drafted in error. I do not think that the Government ever intended to alter the existing system, under which it is quite common for trainees, after completing their 98 days' national service training and joining a C.M.F. unit, to volunteer for service overseas in order to bring them into line with other members of the unit who, in their original enlistment, so volunteered.

I have discussed this matter with the Minister and I understand that he will not press the committee to agree to the clause. Tn that case, the procedure will be simple, in that the committee will vote against the clause and the result will be that section 28 will remain unaltered.







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