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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr UREN (Reid) .- 1 wish to direct the attention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) to the case of partially disabled ex-servicemen. There are many men who served overseas and were disabled to a greater or lesser extent, and who have been granted small pensions, at the rate of 30 per cent, or 40 per cent. 1 have become acquainted with many cases of persons who, because of disabilities incurred through war service, have been pronounced medically unfit for permanent employ ment in the Commonwealth Public Service. Many of these men gave sterling service in time of war, and they wish to serve their country again in time of peace in the Commonwealth Public Service. The opportunities are extremely limited because of their war-caused disabilities, and if they are employed in the Public Service they have very little prospect of promotion, lt is frustrating for these men who, in many cases, are suffering from comparatively minor disabilities. We know that there are certain risks involved in allowing such persons to contribute to the Superannuation . Fund or the Provident Account, but I believe there should be some way in which they can become permanent public servants and gain promotion in due course on ability.

The Prime Minister spoke of the report of the Boyer committee, and of the recommendations of that committee with regard to the employment of persons who, in the course of their ordinary civilian life, suffer disablement. I direct attention also to persons who suffer similar disablement during the course of military service. 1 am sure that most honorable members have had to deal with cases of exservicemen who have been refused permanent employment in the Public Service because they are considered medical risks from the point of admission to the superannuation fund or the provident account. I ask that the Prime Minister and the Government sympathetically consider the cases of such ex-servicemen, who gave good service in time of war, and, I believe, should be given the opportunity to serve again in time of peace.

Mr Menzies - I will have a look at that matter in conjunction with the proposition put forward by the Leader of the Opposition.

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