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Monday, 19 October 1970

Mr STEWART (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I preface my question, which is addressed to the Prime Minister, by citing the case of a family in my electorate which has already had one son undergo his national service training and is now faced with the prospect of the next 2 sons - twins - having been called up for national service. The son who has undergone service, including a year in Vietnam, is under medical treatment for a nervous condition. I ask the Prime Minister whether he and the Government consider it to be just and equitable that one family should be compelled, under the lottery system of selecting national servicemen, to supply 3 sons for the Army while thousands of families are never expected to provide even one son. Is there any provision in the National Service Act or any other Commonwealth statute or regulation which could be used to relieve the burden on this family? If not, will the Prime Minister, in the Australian tradition of justice and equality, issue a directive that these 2 boys are to be declared ineligible for national service training?

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