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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Mr FORDE - The Government decided some months ago to call up for service in labour units enemy aliens, and also friendly aliens, who had not enlisted. These friendly aliens include Greeks, Russians, Poles and Americans.' It also decided that refugee aliens should be called up for service. Considerable progress has been made in organizing these battalions. For security reasons I cannot give figures, but large numbers of enemy aliens in vulnerable areas have been formed into labour units and are now performing useful work. Substantial numbers of refugee aliens have also been organized into labour corps. Some refugee aliens are in the Services, but all others are now subject to the call-up conditions that apply to Australians. Complaints can no longer be justly made that preferential treatment is being accorded to refugee aliens. If the honorable member will see me privately I shall give him some statistical information on the subject.

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