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Friday, 12 June 1970

Mr PEACOCK (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister) - 1 have in fact had an opportunity to see the Press reports of the speech made by the honourable member for Sturt. I have not yet been able to examine the Hansard report. But if the reports contained in the newspapers are correct 1 would Like to say that the allegations made are themselves incorrect.

It is a matter for regret that we have to discuss at this juncture these allegations when the soldier was killed last Saturday and funeral arrangements have not been finalised. But in fairness to the Army it should be pointed out that not only was this soldier medically examined by the Department of Labour and National Service, then by the Army when he marched in and then subsequent to his basic recruit training, but also as a consequence of receiving representations by the honourable member for Sturt I specifically requested a further report on this soldier and he was examined in February of this year. For the fourth time, he was found to be medically fit for service everywhere.

I have to point out in view of the allegation - and it is understandable if a family is concerned about a national serviceman who is wearing glasses - that this person could not see more than 4 feet in front of him-

Opposition members - Without his glasses.

Mr PEACOCK - Without his glasses. I would not leave that out deliberately.

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