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Tuesday, 14 May 1957


Sir WILFRED KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - I thank the Minister for the way in which he has studied the effect of this clause. I agree with the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) and the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Stokes), but I am not quite certain whether we will achieve what we desire by deleting the clause. I cannot find anything here which will allow a national service trainee to volunteer for overseas service. If the amendment as originally suggested were accepted and the words " unless he has volunteered as prescribed for service beyond those limits " were deleted, section 28 would read, " A person is not liable to render service under this act beyond the limits of Australia." If we eliminate the clause altogether there seems to be nothing left which will allow any national service trainee to volunteer for overseas service. As the honorable member for Sturt has just pointed out very clearly, a man cannot very well volunteer for the Citizen Military Forces if he is compulsorily enlisted in them. If he cannot do so - it is liable to have a detrimental effect upon his chances of promotion, even if he is a member of the C.M.F. for four years. Almost all, if not all, of the officers and senior non-commissioned officers of the C.M.F. have volunteered for longer service, and overseas service - and rightly so. Therefore, I rather agree with the honorable member for Maribyrnong that the section should read -

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

It could probably be done by regulation, but it would be better to insert another clause in the proper place, stating that if any national service trainee, after being enlisted in the C.M.F., wished to volunteer for overseas service, he could do so. I cannot see how, at present, that would be possible.







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