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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 3361

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   What are the (a) cumulative and (b) last available year's statistics of physical, psychological and educational unfitness for military service in (0 volunteers for each of the three military services and (ii) national servicemen (A) on induction and (B) as grounds for discharge in each case since the inception of the National Service Act.

(2)   What are the principal differences in the criteria of unfitness among these categories of examinees.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The standards of fitness for national service are those which apply to general volunteer enlistments in the Regular Army. All men liable for national service are required to be medically examined against these standards prior to call-up. In the period 1st January 1965 to 30th June 1971, 64,454 men were rejected on medical grounds and 6,456 on education or psychological grounds. The figures in the year 1970/71 are 13,047 and 1,198 respectively.

The Department of Defence has provided the information below regarding entry to the Regular Forces and discharge from all Forces. Men may volunteer for enlistment in the Regular Armed Forces in a specific function for which particular set standards relating to a necessary aspect of fitness have been determined. Medical examinations take place at various stages of the enlistment process and not all applicants are medically examined.

The honourable member will readily appreciate the implications of these factors, particularly, vis a vis comparability among the Services and between the Regular Army and national servicemen.


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