Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Friday, 21 May 1965

Senator GORTON (Victoria) (Minister for Works) . - in reply - Much of the debate on this Bill has been concerned with matters of high policy. In the case of repatriation benefits, there are matters of policy for the Minister for Repatriation. They are not directly related to the purpose of the Bill which is simply the re-establishment of national service trainees. That is not to say that the debate should not have ranged over this field. The fact is that it has. Of course, it is impossible for me as the representative of the Minister for Labour and National Service in this chamber - as it would be impossible for him - to come to any conclusions on these extremely far reaching matters of policy. For example, there was the matter raised by Senator Wright. He cited the case of a military man who might suffer some accident while obeying the orders of his military superiors. The question was whether such a man should have the right to compensation if he could prove that the orders of his military superiors were nol properly thought out or showed negligence. Clearly such a provision would have such far reaching effects that there is little I can do except note that the point has been raised.

Similarly, the question whether a gratuity of ,£40 after two years service is or is not a proper sort of gratuity to be given to a national service trainee is also a matter of policy. It is, of course, the same gratuity that is given to a member of the Regular Army forces at the present moment who is entitled lo a £40 gratuity after he has completed two years service. To be perfectly accurate, I should point out that the proposition for the national service trainees gives them rather a better entitlement than a soldier in the Regular Army has, because a Regular Army soldier is entitled to a £20 gratuity for each completed year of service. He must complete a year's service before he receives the £20 gratuity. National service trainees will be entitled to £40 for two years completed service, but £20 will lie paid vo them for a part of a year if they discharged before the full time. This proposition goes to the question of the whole matter of gratuities to members of the forces in the Commonwealth and not just to those people of whom we are speaking now. This is a matter on which, without knowing the full facts, I could have little to say. I will see that these and other suggestions which have been made are brought to the attention of the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. McMahon), who is responsible for this Bill. No doubt, these suggestions will be discussed by those responsible for policy of this kind.

Senator Bishopraised the question of vocational training. All I can say in reply is that there are many details in regard to this matter which are still being worked out. I assume that the viewpoints of all interested parties will be sought and considered before the details of this matter are finally arrived at, if indeed they are ever finally arrived at. No doubt these matters will be changed from time to time in the light of experience. The question of which Department is responsible for the running of the vocational training side of this scheme is still a matter of discussion. I refer specifically to vocational training and not to the other types of training mentioned in the Bill. These matters, which were causing Senator Bishop some disquiet, will be resolved, I hope, to the satisfaction of all after they have been in operation for a short time. I think that is all that I can say at the present moment on this debate which, I repeat, I have found quite interesting.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee.

The Bill.

Suggest corrections