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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Mr CRAMER (Bennelong) (Minister for the Army) . - I shall deal with the points raised by the honorable members for Chisholm (Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes) and Sturt (Mr. Wilson) together. What the honorable member for Chisholm has said is perfectly true. The present position is that a decision will be made, after close examination, concerning the units that should remain. That examination should be just about completed now. When the decision is made, the places at which training will be available after the trainees have done their initial service training of 77 days will be known. The numbers called will be in accordance with those places. I am sure there will be no serious objection to that system.

Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes - Why register in any other areas?

Mr CRAMER - Registration is universal.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! We are now dealing with the period of service.

Mr CRAMER - We are exhaustively examining the suitability of the places at which units will be retained. The scheme will be built up around those units. In the first place, of course, men who are to undergo their 77 days' training will go to certain settled places, such as Puckapunyal, Sydney, Walcol, and so on, where such training will be carried out.

In answer to the point raised by the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant), I point out that the 140 days is divided into 77 days' initial training - that is basic training - and then 21 days in each of three years. At the present time, the training is carried out over 98 days, with two subsequent annual periods of 21 days. In future, trainees will do 21 days' training in each of three years, after the initial period of 77 days, which will equal the previous 140 days. I might add that it is thought that the additional year of service with a unit of the Citizen Military Forces will be beneficial to these young men and will get them into the spirit of the C.M.F. We believe, too, that it will help should they later volunteer to serve with the permanent forces.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 17 and 18 agreed to.

Clause 19 (Discharge of certain persons).

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