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Tuesday, 2 June 1942

Mr BERNARD CORSER (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) - In view of the fruitless search which has been conducted for the mother ship of the midget submarines which attacked Sydney recently, I ask the Minister for the Navy whether consideration has been given to the possibility of such a ship having released the submarines some days prior to the attack in order to enable it to escape? The submarines might have lurked close to the shores of Australia for several days, and their crews might even have communicated with enemy agents in Australia. Has the Department of the Navy any knowledge of the construction or use by Japan of large submarines similar to those which were used by Germany during the war of 1914-18 in order to carry cargoes of merchandise between the American continent and German ports?

Mr MAKIN - As I indicated in answer to the question asked by the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear), there are several methods by which the submarines could have reached Australian waters, apart from the use of a parent ship, which is the usual practice. These possibilities are under consideration, and I believe that the method which the honorable member has mentioned has already been fully investigated. The honorable member may be sure that the Department of the Navy will make full use of any knowledge that it may have regarding the use of large submarines.

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