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Tuesday, 7 May 1968

Mr Cross asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

1.   What numbers of young men have enrolled for each registration period since national service was reintroduced?

2.   What numbers from each registration (a) actually commenced national service training, (b) were deferred as conscientious objectors, (c) were deferred on account of studies and (d) were discharged because of inability to adjust to service life?

3.   Of Australian casualties in Vietnam who were (a) killed and (b) wounded, what proportion were national servicemen?

4.   What number of national servicemen from each intake enlisted for a term in the permanent forces?

Mr Bury - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

Comparable information relating to national service registrants is available only at the 30th June each year in respect of the total numbers at that date. The information below is, therefore, based on the position at the 30th June 1967. My colleague the Minister for the Army has provided the information in relation to questions 2 (d), 3 and 4.

1.   Total number registered, 229,207. 2(a), 2(d) and 4. 17,364 men had been called up and enlisted in the Regular Army Supplement Of these men, to date 281 have been discharged on the ground that they are unsuitable for further service, whether for disciplinary or nondisciplinary reasons; 315 have enlisted in the Australian Regular Army; and 11 men have been discharged from the Army to enlist in the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

The majority of the national servicemen are, of course, still undergoing national service, including 282 who have voluntarily extended their period of service. 2. (b) 226 men have been exempted from liability to render service or their eligibility for exemption was under consideration on the ground of conscientious beliefs, (c) 13,978 men were under deferment or were being considered for deferment as students or apprentices.

3.   Of the total Army casualties in Vietnam as at the 29th March 1968, national servicemen comprised: (a) 33.6% of fatal casualties; and (b) 31.8% of non-fatal casualties.

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