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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr TOWNLEY (DENISON, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - A week or two ago the honorable member for Yarra asked me a question along the following lines: - Was it a fact that aircraft and aircraft engines made in Australia had been made under a contract which prevented Australia from exporting them? My reply was to the effect that I had forgotten what were the terms of the contract, because it had been reached several years ago. Yesterday, the honorable member for Yarra stated, quite categorically, that Australia was not allowed to export aircraft that had been made under licence. Just after the honorable member for Yarra asked his first question, I checked the contract, and I discovered that the honorable member was in error, and that the English Electric Canberra and the North American Sabre, and the Rolls-Royce engines that go with them, and indeed all aircraft made by Australia in the last ten years, are made under contracts which provide that Australia can make arrangements with the proprietors to export aircraft if desired. In respect of the Sabre and the Canberra, and the Rolls-Royce engines that power them, arrangements were actually made with the companies concerned, and there was nothing to stop Australia exporting those aircraft if we could have found some customers for them.

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