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Tuesday, 28 September 1971
Page: 1522

Mr NICHOLLS (BONYTHON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for the Army. I draw attention to his statement circulated on Monday, 7th December 1970, headed Awards for Vietnam Service'. Listed as recepients of awards are one brigadier, one lieutenant-colonel, 12 majors, 5 captains, 6 lieutenants, 27 non-commissioned officers and 5 privates. In view of the latest casualty list which contains practically only the names of privates engaged in active confrontation with the enemy, will he agree that the awards show a distinct imbalance between officers and ordinary servicemen?

Mr PEACOCK (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Army) - I think the only suitable answer to this question is that the honourable member is quoting from one release in a series over the entire annual period in which awards are made. On other occasions awards will be made when the ratio of other ranks to officers will be completely different from that mentioned by the honourable member. Other than that I have nothing to say regarding the implications contained in the question.

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