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Wednesday, 2 April 1941

Senator BRAND (VICTORIA) - Has the Government made any arrangement, similar to that entered into during the last war, for the vocational training of men who have returned to Australia, and have been discharged because of a disability received upon active service ? I refer particularly to those men who have lost a limb, and so are unable to resume their former civil occupations. -Senator COLLETT. - The honorable senator gave me notice of his intention to ask this question, and I have prepared a reply which I trust will be informative and satisfactory. With regard to members of the fighting forces who return from service abroad, the Government, through the Repatriation Commission, has arranged that, when fit men are discharged, steps shall be taken to place them in suitable employment at the earliest possible moment. I might add, that, whilst awaiting employment, the ex-service man is provided with sustenance at a. rate that will obviate any immediate anxiety as to the welfare of himself and his family, if any.

Men who were under twenty years of agc at the date of enlistment, or men who return from service with some disability which unfits them for a resumption of their former civil occupations, will be eligible to receive vocational training in selected trades, businesses, or other means of gaining a livelihood. Suitable allowances will be provided to cover the period of training. In this connexion I should point out that the technical training institutions are at present fully extended in teaching to meet the requirements of munitions production staffs, and also to meet the demands for technicians made by the three services. To meet the difficulty of making adequate provision for those with whom I am at the moment dealing, a committee, composed of representatives of the Repatriation Commission, the Department of Labour and National Service, and the three services - the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force - has been appointed, and will, it is hoped, be able to present for the Government's consideration a satisfactory plan, so that all in need may receive adequate aid.

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