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Wednesday, 24 November 1965

Mr McMAHON - My attention was drawn to an article which reported that officers of my Department had considered this problem of additional entries into the Army. I do not think the article is correct in fact. Officers of my Department, as in every other department, hold frequent meetings to discuss administrative prob lems. No doubt, such a meeting has recently been held. The general problems of national service training, as they affect my Department, would be discussed at these meetings. However, the increase of the national service intake is not a problem for my Department; it is a problem for the Government and particularly for the Ministry of Defence. A discussion of this matter would not be within the jurisdiction of my Department and I have very grave doubts as to whether a meeting of the type mentioned did take place. The honorable gentleman also asked whether we are recruiting the necessary numbers of national servicemen. I can assure him that exemptions and deferments are not affecting the numbers of national servicemen being obtained to keep up the strength of the Army.

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