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Friday, 29 April 1921

Senator FOLL (Queensland) .I believe that power is given to the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) under the Defence Act to grant exemption from service wherever hardship would be imposed upon the person called up, and consequently, if the Act is administered in a sympathetic manner there is power for the Minister to grant exemptions in cases of hardship. On the other hand, nothing is provided in the principal Act to assist an employer who may be detrimentally affected by his apprentices being taken away. If the Minister has power under the Act to grant an exemption to- an apprentice in cases of hardship, it is not unreasonable to ask - although I do not see how it can be done in this clause - that similar exemption shouldbe granted to the employer, the success of whose business may depend upon the assistance of his apprentices. If the clause is passed in its present form, perhaps it could be redrafted so that power could be given to the Minister to grant exemptions.

Senator Pearce - In practice employers have availed themselves of the power of the Minister to exempt. They have frequently applied, and have been granted exemptions.

Senator FOLL - It mayhappen that a boy is learning a most important branch of a trade when he is called upon for service, and the authorities, wherever possible, should grant an exemption. I am glad to learn that exemptions are allowed, as that, to a large extent, overcomes the point raised by Senator Pratten.

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