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Friday, 11 September 1942

Senator ASHLEY (New South WalesPostmasterGeneral) - by leave - On the 3rd September, 1942, Senator James McLachlan asked a question relative to an application which had been made by Mrs. Le Brocque for the discharge of her husband from the Military Forces. The Minister for Labour and National Service promised to submit a statement setting out the details. He has now provided the following reply for the information of honorable senators: -

Mrs. LeBrocque, who resides in the electorate of the Minister for Labour and National Service, called at the Minister's Sydney office to seek his advice and assistance. The Minister was not available at the time, and Mrs. Le Brocque was interviewed by a member of the staff. Mrs. Le Brocque stated that her husband at that time was detained at Victoria Barracks, having been absent without leave for three weeks.

Mrs. LeBrocque further stated that she was very ill, and had furnished a medical certificate from Dr. Day, of St. Mary's, setting out her state of health, and that it was in order to be with her in her illness that her husband, after having been refused leave, went absent without leave.

These particulars were submitted to the Minister for the Army for an investigation to be made regarding Mrs. Le Brocque's request for the exemption from further service of her husband or, failing that, the withdrawal of the charge against him for being absent without leave.

A reply dated the 25th August, 1942, was received from the Minister for the Army stating that Private Le Brocque was awaiting a district court-martial. The Minister for the Army further stated that, at a previous hearing, and in view of evidence in his favour, Private Le Brocque was offered the opportunity of being dealt with summarily by the commanding officer, but he elected to await a district court-martial. The Minister for the Army undertook to have the application for the release of this soldier reconsidered upon his return to his unit.

The Minister has also made available the following papers, which I lay on the table : -

Exemption from military service - Private W. Le Brocque - Papers in reply to question by Senator James McLachlan.

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