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Wednesday, 3 April 1957

Mr HAMILTON - I am not worried about why he has left the chamber. 1 remember that last evening he referred to the Empire air training scheme, with which 1 had some association. I had the job of training quite a number of aircrew boys and teaching them how to carry out their jobs overseas. Because the honorable member for Lyne made a statement last evening to the effect that he was overseas when the Labour government came to power, the honorable member for East Sydney has seen fit io come here to-night and try to besmirch him.

Mr Ward - Nothing of the sort!

Mr HAMILTON - I want to tell the honorable member for East Sydney, and any of his colleagues, through you, Mr. Speaker, that to my knowledge the honorable member for Lyne offered his services in 1940. but because of the demands on the training staff of the Empire air training scheme he was not called up until June of 1941.

Mr PETERS (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) - When was the honorable member for East Sydney called up?

Mr HAMILTON - I shall come to that. Because th? call-up was rather sudden. the honorable member for Lyne was not ready to finalize his business affairs and go into camp, and he therefore did not not go in until July of 1941.

Mr Peters - Who told the honorable member that?

Mr HAMILTON - I know the facts. He went overseas in October of the same year, He was sent to South Africa, where some of our trainees had to go because' we did no. have full training fac liies in this country at the time. He was invalided home fro-n there in 1942. If it had been any other honorable member of this Parliament than the honorable member for East Sydney who made this attack on a man who offered his service to his country 1 may not have replied to it, b A, as everybody knows, from the very day that war was declared, the honorable member for East Sydney decried every move made by this country to defend itself. He has continued ever since then to criticize Australia's defence measures. Any person who comes into this Parliament and criticizes a man who offered his services to his country is not, in my opinion, fit to be here. Those of us who had the opportunity to serve our country are never critical of any one who did not serve, because we are always a little doubtful as to the cause of such a man not entering or being accepted into the services. But, in view of the well-known record of the honorable member for East Sydney, I believe it is disgraceful that he should attack the honorable member for Lyne in the way that he has done to-night.

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