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Tuesday, 27 April 1971

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The Minister for the Army has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Polyester shirts and trousers are issued to the Regular Army for summer uniform wear primarily as a walking out dress. Because of the part time nature of CMF service, the occasions on which this uniform could be worn by members below the rank of sergeant would be very limited, and for purposes of training the jungle green uniform is considered to be appropriate.

Exceptions to this policy are made in the case of bandsmen, cadets at Officer Cadet Training Units and drivers of general officers where this type of uniform is a functional requirement.

(2)   The target strength for this financial year (as per the Defence Report 1970) is 36,000 and the current strength is approximately 4,500 below this. The Military Board is at present actively reviewing all aspects of the situation to pin-point reasons and devise ways and means of overcoming the deficiency. At this stage, in regard to the second part of this question, it can only be said that the jungle green uniforms on issue to the CMF are by no means second class and are in fact quite suitable for training purposes in summer.

(3)   Not at present.

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