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Thursday, 13 May 1920

Mr POYNTON - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow: -

1.   No material faults or errors have been found in the designs or in the plans of any of the mercantile steel ships to be built by or to the order of the Commonwealth in Australia. As is the case in practically every design of high-class vessels of this type (12,700 tons), alterations have been found necessary as the designs have developed. It has been desirable to make various alterations and modifications from the original proposal, which, as every one with knowledge of ship construction and marine engineering knows, is the ordinary and usual process. For instance, the vessels have been increased in length from 400 feet to 500 feet as the result of exhaustive discussions, and to meet the requirements of Australian overseas trade. The breadth has been increased from 52 feet to62 feet, and for purposes of stability, 1 foot was added to the beam, making it63 feet, since the length was definitely fixed at 500 feet. The deadweight capacity has been increased from 8,000 to 12,700 tons. The sea speed has been increased from 11 knots to 13 knots. As final calculations indicated that under certain extreme conditions of loading there was not that margin of stability considered desirable, it was decided to make further modifications. The decision to eliminate the passenger accommodation and to utilize the space for bunker coal or cargo also influenced this decision. The ship as now designed is the natural result of evolution, and it is consequently anticipated that the vessels will prove highly efficient and seaworthy cargo carriers.

2.   See answer to No. 1.

3.   See answer to No. 1.

4.   For steel mercantile ships, the Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Shipbuilding.

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