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Friday, 27 June 1941

Senator FRASER - No. I know of officers in the Australian Imperial Force to-day whose record would not stand close investigation. That, of course, was the responsibility of the military authorities when the men enlisted. In a communication that I sent to the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) nearly, twelve months ago, I said that, as a member of the Senate, I did not . stand for every Tom, Dick, and Harry with criminal records being accepted for service. The military authorities must accept responsibility for the promotion to commissioned rank of any men whose records are not without blemish. The cases that I have mentioned are entirely different. I hope that an investigation will be made, and that the Senate and the public will bc assured that the " old school tie " is put on one side, and that the son of the working man is given an equal opportunity with the son of the rich man.

Senator Foll - He has that to-day.

Senator FRASER - I hope that the Minister gives me that assurance. .

Senator Foll - I do.

Senator FRASER - The widest scope exists ┬╗for the inauguration of a new order. Let us see that that is brought about. As Senator Cameron has pointed out, a country cannot be built up on the dole system, if ' in war-time millions of pounds be raised and expended.

I congratulate Senator Collett upon having been raised to full Cabinet rank. Now that he has sole ministerial responsibility for the administration of the Repatriation Act, I hope that he will administer it according to the spirit and not the letter, and will display a certain degree of sympathy. If it be not sufficiently elastic, I trust that he will see that amendments are made.

Senator Collett - I shall always accept suggestions.

Senator FRASER - I do not subscribe to the statement made last night by Senator Amour. The Minister for

Repatriation has clone a lot .for returned soldiers, and I hope that when he reaches the end of his term of office, he will still have the confidence of those who seek to be covered by the provisions of the act.

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