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Wednesday, 28 October 1964

Senator HENTY (Tasmania) (Minister for Civil Aviation) . - Senator O'Byrne and Senator McClelland have raised the matter of Army clothing, and I agree that this is a very important item. It is a matter of pride in the Army to have a good, smart uniform. I understand that there is now a new summer uniform and that a new winter uniform is under consideration. From what I have seen of members of the Australian Army, they look first class, but honorable senators have expressed some criticism which I am not qualified to answer. I can only give my own opinion that members of the Australian Army look smart.

Senator Ormonde - It is all in the eye of the beholder.

Senator HENTY - Yes, and in this instance I happen to be the beholder. To Senator O'Byrne. it seems otherwise. One really has lo take with a grain of salt the newspaper article to which Senator McClelland referred, because although a person may be told a pair of boots must last four years, with the greatest will in the world he may wear them out sooner than that, and when they are worn out he must have a new pair. It is all very well to be sanctimonious and say that they must last four years. When I was a cadet, we used to go shooting in the issue boots and we wore them out well within four years. I admit that we used to get a new pair every year. Members of the Australian Regular Army receive a special allowance of 2s. 9d. a day to cover odd items such as socks, which they purchase.

Senator O'Byrne - They cannot buy uniforms for that amount.

Senator HENTY - I said "odd items". In my view, the present uniform is very smart. Senator Laught referred to cadets. More schools apply for cadet corps than we can manage at the moment. This is a good, healthy sign and I am sure that the honorable senator will be pleased to hear it. He referred to Division No. 698, subdivision 1, item 02, which relates to a proposed appropriation of £2,800,000 for pay and allowances in the nature of pay for the Citizen Military Forces and Cadets. In the case of the Citizen Military Forces, the provision is for pay for attendance at home training parades, camps of continuous training, schools and courses of instruction, together with marriage and separation allowance where applicable, efficiency grant, and miscellaneous allowances.

Provision is made for payment of an average number of 29,000 C.M.F. personnel through the year at an average amount of £93 2s. per annum, which gives a total of £2,699,900, which has been rounded to £2,700,000. In relation to the Australian Cadet Corps, provision is made for £100,000 for camp pay and allowances in the nature of pay for officers of cadets, camp allowance for cadet under-officers, and service allowance for officers of cadets and cadet under-officers. This makes a total of £2,800,000 in relation to the item. The increased requirement is due to a higher estimated average C.M.F. strength of 29,000 in 1964-65, as compared with 27,039 in 1963-64, and provision for pay increases with effect from 1st July 1964. I am sorry that I missed one item which Senator Cavanagh raised in relation to recruitment. I am advised that this comes under the Department of Defence, that the item relates to recruiting for the Army, Navy and Air Force, and that no separate figures are available in relation to the Department of the Army.

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