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Wednesday, 5 September 1945
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Mr FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Health) - Can the Minister for the Army -say how many men have so far been discharged from the fighting forces for return to rural industry? Can ho say how many more men are to be released for rural industry, apart from those under the general demobilization plan? "Mr. FORDE.- Since October, 1943, a total of 34,000 men have been released from the fighting services to rural industries. It is estimated that more than 8,000 men will be released from the services for rural industry during the next few months. This will be. apart from rural workers released under demobilization plans. From October, 1943, to June of this year, 26,053 occupational releases from the Army and Air Force were approved for rural industries, including approximately 7,000 for Queensland. For the current half year, 3,000 rural releases are being recommended for all States. In addition, routine discharges since January, 1944, have included 8,264 rural men, and it. Ls estimated that 5,000 rural workers will bc included amongst those tr- bo released by December as a result of the discharge of long service veterans and the release of men on other grounds. Under the Government's demobilization plan, the rate of release of men from the fighting services will be considerably increased in comparison with the rate which will operate between now and the 1st October. I am mindful of the urgent claims of the primary industries, and discussions are now in progress between the Director-General of Man Power and the Adjutant-General on this subject. The representations of the honorable member will be fully and sympathetically considered.

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