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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3520

NOTES FOR THE PRIME MINISTER - CITIZEN MILITARY FORCES ASSOCIATION LUNCH - 4 DECEMBER 1974

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 04/12/1974

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 3520

NOTES FOR THE PRIHE MINISTER
CITIZEN MI1LITARY FORCES ASSOCIATION__ LU'-CII 4I I) LCLMBER, 94
CITIZEN MILITARY FORCES HAVE PLAYED A LONG, HONOURABLE
AND IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE DEFENCE OF AUSTRALIA, WHILE THE 14ATURE
OF THE ROLE OF THE RESERVE FORCES MAY BE SEEN TO alHANGE OVER
THE YEARS, THERE IS NO DOUBTING THE CONTINUING SIGNIFICANCE
OF THESE FORCES. iHE ARMY RESERVE, OR CHF AS IT USED TO BE
KNOWN,, IS A VITAL PART OF AUSTRALIA'S GROUND FORCE CAPABILITY.
IT FORMS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE BASIS OF EXPANSION OF THE
WHOLE ARMY SHOULD THE NEED ARISE.
THE GOVERNMENT' S. APPROACH TO THE NEEDS AND
STRUCTURING OF THE RESERVE IS BASED ON ITS RECOGNITION OF
THE VITAL ROLE WHICH IT PLAYS. WE WERE NOT SATISFIED THAT THE
RESERVE FORCES HAD BEEN PROPERLY TREATED BY PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENTS. THE MORALE OF THE CMF SUFFERED BADLY FROM THE
WAY IT WAS TREATED AS A DUMPING GROUND FOR CONSCRIPTS, OR
A HAVEN FOR MEN WANTING TO AVOID CONSCRIPTION, MEN WHO HAD
JOINED THE CNF AND INDICATED THEIR WILLINGNESS TO SERVE
OVERSEAS IF NECESSARY IN DEFENCE OF THEIR COUNTRY FOUND
THEIR SERVICES WERE NOT SOUGHT. OR WANTED.
My GOVERNMENT ABOLIS HED CONSCRIPTION AND SET
ABOUT MAKING SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES MORE ATTRACTIVE
TO VOLUNTEERS. LAST YEAR, AS PART OF ITS EFFORTS TO REVITALISE
DEFENCE, THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO HAVE A COMPLETE REVIEW
OF THE ROLE AND FUNCTIONING OF THE RESERVE, THE MINISTER

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FOR DEFENCE, MR P) ARNARD, COMMISSIONED THE FIRST-EVER
INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE CMF. THE COMMITTEE WAS LED
BY DR T. B. MILLAR AND ITS REPORT WAS TABLED IN PARLIAMENT
ON APRIL 4 THIS YEAR.
AT THE TIME MR BARNARD TABLED THE REPORT, HE
LEFT NO DOUBT OF THIS GOVERNMENT'S INTENTION TO REVITALISE
THE ARMY RESERVE. HE INDICATED THEN, AND ON SEVERAL OTHER
OCCASIONS SINCE, THAT HE FULLY SUPPORTED THE BROAD
RESTRUCTURING OF THE CMF RECOMMENDED BY THE CMF COMMITTEE
OF INQUIRY. As PART OF THE NORMAL PROCESS OF PROTECTING
NATIONAL SECURITY WE NEED TO MAINTAIN SOME REGULAR FORCES
CAPABLE OF BEING IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE, AND THESE NEED TO
BE BACKED UP BY RESERVE FORCES WHICH CAN BE BROUGHT TO A
STATE OF READINESS IN A REASONABLY SHORT TIME. THE
RESERVES MUST BE INTEGRATED WITH THE REGULARS, WITHOUT
MAJOR RE-ARRANGEMENT AS IN THE PAST. REGULAR AND RESERVE
COMPONENTS ARE TO BE WELDED INTO A " TOTAL FORCE" THE
AUSTRALIAN ARMY. THE ARMY RESERVE, TOGETHER WITH THE
REGULAR ARMY WILL PROVIDE A VIABLE BASE FOR AN EXPANSION OF
THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY SHOULD THIS BE NECESSARY IN THE FUTURE.
WE WILL HAVE A REGULAR COMPONENT ANT) A RESERVE COMPONENT
WORKING TOGETIILPR ON A RASIS AS NTFAR TO EQUALITY AND
PARTNERSHIP AS THEIR RESPECTIVE CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ALLOW.

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TO GIVE EFFECT TO THI1S POLICY, THE ARMY RESERVE
IS TO BE INTEGRATED INTO THE FUNCTIONAL COMMAND ORGANISATION
OF THE REGULAR ARMY. IN ADDITION, ARMY RESERVE OFFICERS ARE
TO BE APPOINTED As ASSISTANT COMMANDERS To FIELD FORCE
COMMAND, LOGISTICS COMMAND AND TRAINING COMMAND. IN FACT,
THE ASSISTANT COMMANDER TRAINING COMMAND HAS ALREADY ASSUMED
OFFICE. THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO APPROVED THAT RESERVE
SOLDIERS WEAR COMPARABLE UNIFORM WITH THAT WORN By REGULAR
SOLDIERS. IN GENERAL, THE CMF AT PRESENT CAN ONLY BE USED IN
TIME OF WAR OR IN THE EVENT OF A DECLARED DEFENCE EMERGENCY.
MR BARNARD HAS, ON A NUMB ER OF OCCASIONS, STATED WITHOUT
RESERVATION THAT THE BROAD ROLE ENVISAGED FOR THE ARMY
RESERVE, WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR EMPLOYMENT OF THE RESERVE
IN SITUATIONS SHORT OF A DEFENCE EMERGENCY, IN CIVIL
EMERGENCIES OR TO PROVIDE OTHER ASSISTANCE TO CIVIL AUTHORITIES
AND ORGANISATIONS. LEGISLATION MUST BE ENACTED TO GIVE FULL
EFFECT TO THIS ROLE AND THE ARMY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE
ARE STILL EXAMINING THE MANY COMPLEX ISSUES INVOLVED IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF LEGISLATION.
WHEN THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE TABLED THE MILLAR
REPORT IN PARLIAMENT HE SUPPORTED THE BROAD RESTRUCTURING
OF THE FORCES WHICH IT PROPOSED. CLEARLY THE GOVERNMENT ' S
INTENTION IS TO ADVANCE THE ARMY RESERVE, AND IT HAS ALREADY
IMPLEMENTED SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE COMMITTEE.
14/ 1

MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS APPROVED SINCE 14 APRIL
1974 INCLUDE:-THE APPOINTMENT OF MAJOR GENERAL A. C. MURCHISON
AS INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE ARMY RESERVE ( IN
ADDITION TO HIS APPOINTMENT AS CITIZEN MILITARY
FORCES MEMBER). ON HIS RETIREMENT ON 27 OCTOBER
HE WAS REPLACED BY MAJOR GENERAL J. M. MACDONALD.
THE ARMY RESERVE BRANCH IN ARMY OFFICE HAS BEEN
RAISED AND MAJOR GENERAL B. A. MCDONALD HAS
BEEN APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF THE ARMY RESERVE,
THE RESERVE BRANCH HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH THE
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF REPRESENTING ARMY
RESERVE INTERESTS AND WILL DIRECT ALL ASPECTS OF
THE RE-ORGANISATION AND OVERSEE ITS IMPLEMENTATION.
THE BRANCH HAS A STATUS EQUAL TO ALL OTHER BRANCHES
AT ARMY OFFICE.
RECRUITING ADVERTISEMENTS ARE ALREADY USING THE
NEW TITLE " ARMY RESERVE". THERE IS, OF COURSE,
THE NEED FOR LEGAL CHANGE TO GIVE FULL EFFECT TO
THIS NEW TITLE.
A CHANGE IN THlE CLOTHING ENTITLEMENTS FOR THE
ARMY RESERVE HAS NOW BEEN APPROVED. THIS NOW
PUTS THE ARMY RESERVE ON A COMPARABLE BASIS WITH
THE REGULAR ARMY.

MR BARNARD REFERRED THE QUESTION OF PAY FOR THE
RESERVES OF ALL THE SERVICES TO THE COMMITTEE OF REFERENCE
FOR DEFENCE FORCE PAY, AN INDEPENDENT BODY UNDER THE
JUDICIAL CHAIRMANSHIP OF MR JUSTICE COLDHAM, A RECOMMENDATION
HAS NOT YET BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE COMMITTEE OF REFERENCE
THOUGH IT IS EXPECTED SHORTLY, HOWEVER, AS A MEANS OF
IMMEDIATELY IMPROVING THE RESERVE CONDITIONS SALARIES WERE
INCREASED BY 12 PER CENT AS FROM 1 JULY 1974,
THE MILLAR REPORT ACKNOWLEDGED THE RECENT WIDENING
OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN MEMBERS TO SERVE IN THE RESERVE AND
RECOMMENDED FURTHER RELAXATION OF RESTRICTIONS AS CIRCUMSTANCES
ALLOWED. STEPS HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN BY THE ARMY IN THIS
DIRECTION INCLUDING:-THE RESTRICTION OF ENLISTMENT OF WOMEN WITH
DEPENDENT CHILDREN HAS BEEN REMOVED,
THE RECOMMENDATION THAT AGE LIMITATIONS ON
ENLISTMENTS, DISCHARGE, AND COMMISSIONING
FOR WOMEN SHOULD BE THE SAME AS FOR MEN WILL
BE IMPLEMENTED AS SOON AS CHANGES TO STATUTORY
REGULATIONS CAN BE MADE, FOR INSTANCE, THE
MINIMUM AGE FOR COMMISSIONED RANK WILL BE
18 YEARS ( CURRENTLY IT IS 21 YEARS FOR WOMEN,
18 FOR MEN),

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APPROVAL HAS BEEN GIVEN FOR WOMEN TO USE
FIREARMS ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS SUBJECT TO THE
APPROVAL OF THEIR HEAD OF CORPS. AN ARMY
TRAINING INSTRUCTION IS CURRENTLY IN PRINT
AUTHORISING THIS MATTER.
EARLY NEXT YEAR WE EXPECT TO MAKE A DECISION ON
THE MILLAR COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREFERENTIAL
HOUSING LOANS FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMY RESERVE WHO SERVE SIX
YEARS OR MORE. THE GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO THE MAINTENANCE
OF AN ALL VOLUNTEER ARMY. IT RECOGNISES THAT TO BE EFFECTIVE
SUCH A FORCE MUST HAVE HIGH MORALE, HIGH DEGREE OF MOTIVATION
AND SUITABLE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE. IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S
INTENTION TO ACHIEVE THIS BY ALL THE MEANS AT ITS DISPOSAL.
IBELIEVE THAT A GREAT MAJORITY OF EMPLOYERS ARE
PATRIOTIC AND PUBLIC-SPIRITED. I APPEAL TO THEM TO ADOPT
AND PROMULGATE POLICIES WHICH WILL BE HELPFUL TO THE ARMY
RESERVE AND THE NATION. IN PARTICULAR AN EMPLOYEE WILL
REQUIRE HIS EMPLOYER'IS PERMISSION TO ATTEND THE ANNUAL CAMP
WHICH IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE YEARLY TRAINING CYCLE.
HOPEFULLY, EMPLOYERS WILL WISH TO FOLLOW THE GOVERNMENT'S
POLICY WHICH IS, TO GRANT EMPLOYEES LEAVE WITH PAY TO ATTEND
ANNUAL CAMPS. WE WANT TO SEE A RESERVE BACKED BY THE COMMUNITY
OF WHICH IT IS PART AND WHICH IT IS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT AND
PROTECT.

Transcript 3520