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Tuesday, 16 November 1993
Page: 2960

(Question No. 654)

Senator Parer asked the Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services, upon notice, on 5 October 1993:

  (1) In a letter of 8 August 1993 commemorating the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces, did the Prime Minister note that `with the coming into effect of the San Francisco Treaty in April 1952 the occupation of Japan came to an end'.

  (2) When will Australian ex-servicemen who served in the Occupation Forces receive their awards and medals for this service.

  (3) Who is designing these medals.

  (4) Will a guarantee be given that they will be distributed before Anzac Day 1994 so these servicemen can march with dignity with their colleagues.

Senator McMullan —I have been advised that the answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1)-(4) On 27 May 1993 the Government appointed a Committee of Inquiry into Defence Awards, chaired by General Peter Gration AC OBE. The Committee is to examine a range of issues relating to Defence and Defence related awards. The Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel outlined to this Chamber on 27 May 1993 the issues that this Committee would examine. Matters relating to the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces fall within the terms of reference for the Committee. The Government expects the Committee to report within the next few months.