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Wednesday, 2 July 1941

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) (Minister for Aircraft Production) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

I have great pleasure in moving the second reading of this bill. It has my entire concurrence and I feel sure that it will receive a speedy passage through this chamber. The object of the bill is to make permanent a provision introduced two years ago under which the Commonwealth provided £20,000 a year for the purpose of financing a national fitness campaign. Every body realizes that there is much to be done in this direction, and that physical training plays an equally important part as mental training in the life of the individual. Teachers cannot train their pupils effectively unless they have a proper conception of the principles of physical training. One of the objects of the bill is to train leaders to encourage others to improve their physical fitness. I think that I may claim to have a special interest in this scheme and probably know as much as anybody else of the improvement of health that follows planned physical exercise. The value of physical training is seen in the improvement of the health standards of those of our young men who have spent a month or two in our military camps. The exercise in the open air and the good food served in the camps improve their physique to a remarkable degree.

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