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Thursday, 26 March 1942

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - To-day, I asked a question to which an answer could not then be given, and I was requested to place it on the noticepaper. I therefore refer to the matter now as I should like some information on the subject before the Senate adjourns. In Brisbane, numbers of men have called upon me lately and have stated that, owing to the closing down of nonessential industries, they have been forced out of business. I now call the attention of the Government to this matter, because I believe that, just as there are casualties on the field of battle, so there are casualties in the industrial sphere, and that just as in the military arena we try to save the lives of our soldiers, so in industry we should try to save the lives of those who are injured economically. One man who interviewed me said that he had practically been forced into bankruptcy because two of Ms employees had been taken away from his business by the military authorities. He agreed that, in a time of war, every one should do his bit, but that did not lessen the effect on himself. I tried to save him from financial disaster, hut without avail. Some consideration should be given by theGovernment to men conducting small businesses who are forced on to the bread-line as the result of war measures.

Senator Collings - I shall look into the matter and furnish a reply to the honorable senator.

Senator BROWN - I thank the Minister for that promise. Unlike myself, most of these men have not been used to hard work, as they have been employed in sheltered occupations.

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