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Thursday, 10 March 1966

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The implication in the last part of the honorable member's question is quite without justification. Vigorous efforts have been made and will continue to be made to improve the current level of voluntary recruitment to the Australian Regular Army. The level is roughly the same as it has been for some considerable time. There has been no significant movement one way or the other.

I am by no means complacent about the situation. I should like to see the number of voluntary recruits for the A.R.A. higher than it now is. I have already asked for suggestions from my own people about various measures that might well be contemplated. However, I think it might be pertinent to point out that the re-engagement rate of those eligible for re-engagement in the Australian Regular Army is very high - over 70 per cent. This is, I think, one of the highest re-engagement rates of any Army in the Western world and indicates that those people who are in the Army believe that conditions of service are good, that conditions of living are good and that there is a fine and worthwhile career in the Army. It may well be that some additional measures will have to be devised to get this message across to a broader spectrum of the general public in an effort to increase the number of volunteers for the Regular Army.

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