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Tuesday, 16 December 1941

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) . - I ask the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) to investigate two matters upon which I asked questions some time ago and respecting which he promised to obtain information for me. One related to the number of banking institutions in Australia that have branches in country towns. The other related to the visit to England of a number ofproprietors and representatives of Australian newspapers, their identity, and the amount of currency that they were allowed to take with them. Although I was promised the information in one instance two months ago and in another about a month ago, to date I have not received any.

Another matter concerns advertisements which appeared last year in the press inviting drivers to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force and promising them1s. a day more than a private's pay.

According to information which was supplied to me by Councillor Alex F. Caldwell, president of the Bentleigh subbranch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, Leo R. Perry, of No. 2 Sub Park, 1st Australian Petrol Corps, enlisted on the 6th June, 1940, in response to that advertisement, which appeared in the Melbourne daily press. It clearly indicated that the drivers would receive1s. a day above the normal rate of pay for private, namely, 6s. That was prior to the increase which the present Government granted. L. R. Perry, who was grouped as a driver on the l7th June, 1940, received the additional1s. aday for some time. Then, without warning or explanation, the extra.1s. was deducted and has not been restored to him. Councillor Caldwell wrote -

As president ofa sub-bra nch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, it has come under my notice that there are many drivers who have complained in letters of similar treatment by the army, and consider it a breach of faith, that the terms as set out in the advertisement have not been honoured.

I ask the Minister for the Army (Mr. Forde) to inquire into this matter in order that justice may be done to men who were invited to enlist under certain conditions, which have, in part, been repudiated.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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