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Thursday, 20 June 1946

Mr Fadden n asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1   . Is it intended to recognize the services of members of the Volunteer Defence Corps including - (a) those who were on continuous service for a period of at least 28 days; and (b) those not within the above category?

2.   Were members of the Home Guard in Britain made eligible for the Defence Medal irrespective of the length or duration of their service?

3.   Will he consider the granting of similar recognition to the Volunteer Defence Corps, and make a statement to the House on the matter ?

Mr Forde - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1.(a) Approval has been given to the award of the General Service Badge to members of the Volunteer Defence Corps who were - (i) enlisted, called up, or appointed for service with the Australian Military Forces for the duration of the war; (ii)served full time for a continuous qualifying period of not less than 28 days during the war; and (iii) have been honorably discharged. (6) It is not proposed to issue a badge to personnel who do not comply with the foregoing conditions.

2.   According to the British army order on the subject, it is necessary for members of the Home Guard to have had three years' service in Britain in order to qualify for the Defence Medal.

3.   See answer to No. 2. Consideration is being given - (a) to the award of an Australian General Service Medal to certain categories of the Australian Military Forces, including members of the Volunteer Defence Corps, employed on full or part-time duty. The conditions governing eligibility for this award have not yet been finalized.(b) Advice has been received that His Majesty the King has approved of the institution of a War Medal for full-time personnel of the Armed Forces of the Empire. The medal will be awarded for non-operational as well as operational service. Full-time members of the Australian forces, both men and women, who have rendered 28 days' service during the war will be eligible for the medal. Members of the Volunteer Defence Corps who comply with the conditions of eligibility will be eligible for this award.

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