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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Mr CRAMER (Bennelong) (Minister for the Army) . - The Army is now engaged in determining the units to be retained. The matter is complex, because consideration must be given, not only to the retention of the units that will serve the needs of national service trainees, but also to the retention of units that have a very long history. It is desired to retain, wherever possible, units that have lengthy historical associations and traditions.

Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes - The units will have to depend on trainees selected by ballot from among men who live within 5 miles of training centres.

Mr CRAMER - That is so, but the

Army does not foresee any great difficulty arising to hinder the solution of the problem. The units that are to be retained having been decided on, the Department of Labour and National Service will be advised. It is believed that the requisite number of national service trainees for those units will be readily available.

Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes - Within 5 miles of training centres?

Mr CRAMER - Yes. There are many difficulties to be overcome, but I am informed by my advisers that they can be overcome. Teams of experts are now engaged in a very close examination of the problem in all commands, and all units are being examined, right down to the individual members. The committee may be assured that the scheme will be worked out equitably and fairly. I assure the honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes) that the objective can be achieved. A great deal of work will be entailed, and teams of experts are already investigating this complex matter.

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