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Wednesday, 21 July 1920

Mr MAHONY (Dalley) . - A rumour is current in Sydney that negotiations are being conducted between the Commonwealth Government and the firm of Vickers and Company, of England, for the transfer of the Cockatoo Island dockyards, and also the [shipbuilding yards at Williamstown.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - Has the honorable member any great objection to a firm like Vickers establishing itself in Australia?

Mr MAHONY - At this stage I shall not say whether or not I have any objection of that kind, but if there is any truth in the rumour I have mentioned, honorable members ought to be told about the proposal. We know for a fact that representatives of that firm are in Australia making very careful inquiries into this matter.

Mr Poynton - They have' visited Walsh Island, too.

Mr MAHONY - I desire to know whether the Government are in negotiation with that firm for the sale of the Cockatoo shipbuilding yards.

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