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Wednesday, 8 May 1968

Mr BURY - There are two national service ballots annually, each ballot being geared towards providing the Army intakes for the succeeding half year. The aim is to speed up the whole process so that all concerned can be advised as quickly as possible exactly where they stand, but in practice we are not able to include those selected by ballot and found suitable in the Army intake immediately following that ballot. This being so. it is desirable to give a medical examination reasonably close to the time that a person is called up. As honourable members are aware, a certain measure of frustration has arisen through people being passed as medically fit by the agents of my Department and then being rejected on medical grounds upon entering, or after a short period of service with the Army. Fitness does change from, time to time. The general idea is to carry out a medical examination as near as possible to the actual dale of the call-up so that once men have given notice to their employers and arranged to go into the Army there will be a minimum chance of the Army taking a different view medically from the view of the doctors of my Department. That is not to say that there will not be some cases in which individuals will bc delayed and perhaps frustrated for reasons peculiar to themselves.

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