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Wednesday, 20 April 1966

Mr BURY (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I did see the statements by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I had always understood that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition considered that when something of a serious or momentous nature arose when Parliament was sitting statements on them should be made in the House where they could be answered. However, on this occasion when what is involved is, in effect, a charge of corruption against my Department, he makes it in one section of the Press.

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was at a public meeting.

Mr BURY - There certainly seemed to be a certain embellishment subsequently. However, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition alleged that, based on a statement by my predecessor made on 28th June of last year, for some reason 8,000 people had not been medically examined and had been virtually administered out of the scheme, having been balloted in.

Before making this statement, the last thing the Deputy Leader of the Opposition did was to check with me or to find out the facts. Now, he referred to the fact that 21,777 young men were balloted in in the first ballot. In fact, there can be added to this total the number of volunteers, which brings the figure up to 21,808. In order not to confuse the matter because, naturally, since the first ballot, there have been a number of subsequent ballots, I have taken out the figures as at 31st August up till when only one ballot had taken place - the first ballot. This list I have contains the numbers in each of the categories concerned and what their position was at 31st August. I hope that, instead of reading all the details, I can with the concurrence of honorable members incorporate this list in " Hansard ". I seek leave to do so.

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