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Wednesday, 3 April 1946

Mr BERNARD CORSER (Wide Bay) . - Some time ago a returned soldier who served in the Royal Australian Air Force for five years and seven months, of which a considerable portion was spent outside Australia, made application to the Rubber Controller for a permit to purchase tyres to enable him to drive his car from Queanbeyan to a place within my electorate where a permanent job awaited him. He was then told that his request could not be acceded to at that stage and to apply again after the lapse of some months. He did so, and was again informed that tyres could not be made available. His car has been on blocks during the period of his war service, and it is now without tyres and tubes. As he is unable to pay the high freight cost of transporting the car by rail to Queensland, I made special representations to the Minister for Supplyand Shipping on his behalf and received the following reply, dated the 2nd April, 1946 : -

With furtherreference to your personal representations on behalf of Mr. A. R. Tankey, of High-street. Queanbeyan, who wishes to obtain four new tyres and tubes for his Buick motor car,I desire to inform you that the matter has received careful consideration. Unfortunately, tyre equipment of the size required by Mr. Tankey is in extremely short supply at the present moment, and the existing stock is required to meet the needs of some thousands of business users who are already in possession of permits. In the circumstances, I regret that it is not practicable at the present juncture to accede to Mr. Tankey's request.

Thousands of business users who have enjoyed the use of their vehicles throughout the whole period of the war are thus given priority in the supply of tyres and tubes over a man who served his country and needs his car to transport himself and his family to another State. It is evident that some government officials do not recognize the principle of preference to returned soldiers. I take the strongest objection to the treatment meted out to this man, and I appeal to the Minister in charge of the House to review his case. If the right honorable gentleman is prepared to give an assurance that he will do so I shall furnish him with full particulars of the case.

Dr Evatt - I shall be glad to discuss the matter with my colleague the Minister for Supply and Shipping (Senator Ashley) and ask that it be reviewed in the light of the evidence which the honorable member can produce in support of the claim.

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