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Thursday, 9 December 1965

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister Assisting the Treasurer) - The honorable member for Grayndler is certainly persistent. This subject has been canvassed over and over again. The explanation has been given over and over again and has been accepted by the Australian people as was made clear at the last election. The fact is that there are certain basic minimum standards for soldiers which have been established from experience in war, particularly the last World War. If soldiers do not measure up to those standards they tend to become administrative liabilities and a danger to their comrades. The minimum standards are not excessively high, but the fact is that every single one of the people mentioned by the honorable member who applied for enlistment in the Army and was rejected was unable to reach those standards. If the honorable member continues to pursue this line I think he should come out and say where he stands on the matter. Is he prepared for this country to have an Army in which are enlisted people who do not measure up to standards which, in the fires of war, have been found to be the desirable minimum and who would become administrative risks and a danger to their comrades?

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