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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Sir WILFRED KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - I am not very happy about the answer given by the Minister for the Army (Mr. Cramer) to the question thai I raised, because it is perfectly obvious that the scheme has not been fully worked out. I should very much like to have the opinion of the commanding officers of Citizen Military Forces units as to whether the proposed scheme is even workable, in addition to the advice of staff officers trained at the Royal Military College at Duntroon. According to what the Minister has told us, it appears that the scheme will work only if the ballots are restricted to men who live within 5 miles of C.M.F. training establishments which Army headquarters has decided will not be disbanded. The C.M.F. units that will be retained have first to be determined, and then the trainees have to be selected from areas within 5 miles of the centres at which those units are stationed. Otherwise, as the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) has said, the trainees will not be able to attend parades in the evenings or at week-ends. It seems to me that these are the conditions on which the success of the scheme depends. Indeed, if I wished to be really frivolous, I might suggest to the Minister for the Army that his theme song is " Happy Birthday to You ", and that the marching song of the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) is " Roll out the Barrel ".

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