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Wednesday, 2 May 1973
Page: 1555

Mr ENGLAND (CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is also-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! 1 should like to explain the position regarding the calling of an honourable member to ask a question because I can see that the honourable member for Balaclava is seeking to ask a question. I am quite aware of the procedure for the allocation of questions, but the Country Party members are a few behind and I shall be giving the call in a way that will allow the Country Party to catch up a few questions.

Mr ENGLAND - My question also is addressed to the Minister for Defence and it also bears on the strength of the Australian Army. Has the Minister seen the result of the gallup poll published recently - last week, 1 think - which indicated that all young men should go to military camp for at least 3 months when aged 18 and perhaps again when aged 19? Did 78 per cent poli for this move, including 72 per cent of Australian Labor Party voters, 79 per cent of women and about 70 per cent of men of eligible age? In view of the Labor Party's oft expressed intention of governing according to the wishes of the people, has the Minister instructed his Department to study the reintroduction of national service training in some form?

Mr BARNARD - The honourable member is, of course, in error when he suggests that the result of a gallup poll is the view of the Australian people. It is the view of a selected number of the Australian population. Since the honourable member is now putting forward a proposition that there should be a period of national service training of 3 months for the youth of this country, I remind him of the experience that the previous Government went through when it had compulsory training of 3 months duration for every young man in this country, which proved to be a disaster and involved this country in a financial obligation which it could not afford and which undoubtedly had a detrimental effect on the more important procurement requirements to meet the needs of the Services in this country.

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