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Tuesday, 2 June 1942

Mr CONELAN (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Can the Minister for the Army say what is the present position in regard to members of the Australian Military Forces who wish to transfer to the Australian Imperial Force? What procedure is necessary, and how long will it be before those who have applied will be admitted to the Australian Imperial Force?

Mr FORDE - With regard to my decision to allow members of the Citizen Military Forces to transfer to the Australian Imperial Force, I had a further conversation with the Adjutant-General, General Head-quarters, Melbourne, today, on this matter, and he told me that immediately my decision was made, a telegram was despatched to all commanding officers concerned giving them general approval of the scheme, and telling them to await instructions as to procedure. These instructions were carefully prepared, and are now in the post on their way to the Commanding Officers throughout Australia. Conditions are now different from those which obtained at the time the present members of the Citizen Military Forces were in their homes scattered all over Australia. They then enlisted at their local centres, and were sent down to their capital city to be medically boarded and attested. Because of the big concentration of these men now, largely in two or three States, medical boards and records procedure must be first established before their applications for transfer to the Australian Imperial Force can be dealt with. It is conceivable that there might be a solitary unit with one regimental medical officer. Before a medical board can be established, it is necessary to have at least two medical officers. The necessary machinery is now in motion, however, to get over this difficulty, and records are being taken in all units preparatory to the posting of the men to the Australian Imperial Force in accordance with applications received.

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