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Thursday, 30 April 1942

Senator FOLL (Queensland) . - In reply to a question asked by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) in another place yesterday, I noticed that the Minister for the Army (Air. Forde) said he would make an investigation into a suggestion to provide a new pattern for Australian soldiers' uniforms. I urge the Assistant Minister for the Army (Senator Fraser) to stress the need for providing soldiers with what is known as battle dress. The battle dress, which is of the jumper type used by our American allies, the British and New Zealand troops, is smart and businesslike in appearance and should effect a saving in cloth. I know that the Government is seriously pressed to secure enough material for the civil and defence requirements of the community, so much so that the variety of materials that wil be made available for civil requirements will be reduced to a very small number.

The mills are being sorely pressed to provide sufficient uniforms. I consider that the change suggested will he of great value to the troops and will save a considerable quantity of cloth. From personal experience, also, T oan say that too much cloth is used in some of the military overcoats. Recently, I saw some coats made for a 5-ft. 6-in. man, but no man of that height would wear them without cutting several inches off the bottom of them. It may be that the coats sometimes are wrongly marked.

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