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Wednesday, 1 October 1941

Senator FRASER (Western Australia) . - I thank the Minister (Senator Foll) for his statement in regard to compulsory military trainees, but I am still not convinced that the proper thing has been done by these lads. The setting up of medical boards, so that men will not have to travel more than 10 miles does not overcome the difficulty. I particularly instance the gold-fields, and the centres of rural industries, where men have to travel a far greater distance than 10 miles in order to reach the nearest office at which a medical examination may be conducted.These men are losing money thereby; they are not in receipt of wages during the period of their absence in order to undergo a preliminary examination. In the light of these facts, I ask the Minister again to bring the matter to the notice of the Minister for the Army (Mr. Spender). In Western Australia particularly, men are affected in the timber country, the mining areas, and on the different farms. The Government should grant compensation in respect of loss of wages. The men do not enter camp immediately upon passing the medical examination, but have to return to their work until they are called up.

That aspect of the matter should be stressed strongly with the Minister for the Army. I can see no reason for these men being obliged to lose their wages while engaged in the performance of a national duty.

Senator Foll -I undertake to do as the honorable senator suggests, and also to bring to the notice of the Minister for Aircraft Production the remarks of Senator Armstrong.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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