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Wednesday, 5 September 1945
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Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - According to it statement by the Minister, many thousands of soldiers in various camp? throughout Australia are waiting to be sent back to the islands, or to other service positions, but they have jobs in civil life waiting for them and employers are anxious to engage them. Is there any good reason why Army personnel should not he released immediately, or, if not finally discharged, granted an interim release until their proper discharge can be arranged, first, in order that they may rehabilitate themselves, and, secondly, in the esse of farmers, in order that they may assist in the production of much required food ?

Mr FORDE - Discharges from the Army are being made daily on occupational grounds. The demobilization scheme announced by the Minister for

Post-war Reconstruction will commence to operate from the 1st October. Full ;ind sympathetic consideration is given to all representations for discharge on compassionate and occupational grounds. If the honorable member can supply the names of servicemen whose applications for discharge have been favorably considered, and whose services are urgently required on those grounds, prompt and sympathetic consideration will be given to his representations.

Air. CONELAN.- Has the Minister lor the Army seen the statement by Colonel Murphy, Director of Prisons and Detention Gamps, that 33.5 per cent, of the inmates are there for having been absent without leave as the result of domestic trouble? In view of the circumstances, will the Minister take steps to ensure the release of those men as early as possible ?

Mr FORDE - I have not read Colonel Murphy's statement, but I shall get a copy of it and have it examined. Being a very humane man, I shall give sympathetic consideration to the honorable member's representations.

Mr CHAMBERS - Will the Minister for the Army say whether the seven and ;i half day.-' leave allowable to Australian servicemen upon discharge for every six months served abroad is granted to men who have served in the mandated territories? If not, will the Minister take steps to correct this anomaly which represents an injustice to men and women who have served in those territories?

Mr FORDE - The leave to which the honorable member refers applies to all service in the South-West Pacific Area outside Australia, and, consequently, personnel who have served in the mandated territories and Papua are eligible for it.

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