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Wednesday, 3 May 1939
Page: 84

Mr GEORGE LAWSON (BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND) n asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Has the Department of Defence further considered the practicability and efficiency of the aerial robot bomb invented and submitted to the department by the inventors, Messrs. Wall and Blakeway, engineers, of Brisbane?

2.   Was the invention submitted to the Queensland Inventions Board for investigation and report at the request of the former Minister for Defence, and was the board's report favorable or otherwise?

3.   If the report was favorable, will he make it available for perusal?

4.   In view of the fact that the Inventions Board is composed of military experts and scientists appointed by the Department of Defence, can he state why the board's opinion and decision were not acted upon by the members of theRoyal Australian Air Board?

5.   Were the inventors advised by the Department of Defence that the department had forwarded their invention to the Air Ministry at Farnborough, England, and was it sent? If so, by whom were the plans, specifications and descriptions of the invention prepared ?

6.   Why were the inventors not asked to prepare drawings, &c., capable of fully illustrating the practicability of the patent?

Mr Street - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes. A full meeting of the Army Headquarters Inventions Board was convened and held at Army Head-quarters on Friday, the 14th October, 1938. Messrs. Wall and Blakeway wore both present.

2.   Yes. During May, 1938, the inventors interviewed the District Inventions Board at Brisbane, which resulted in correspondence between the inventors and the former Minister; the latter, being impressed, directed that all assistance should be given. This was done, and as the outcome of a favorable report from the District Board, a meeting of the Army Head-quarters Board, as stated above, was held. While there is no doubt as to the theory of the principle employed in the invention, there is considerable doubt as to the practicability of its application to the problems of actual bombing from aircraft. The District Board did not include any member qualified to express opinions relating to bomb ballistics and the technique of air bombing.

3.   Copies of the District and Army Headquarters Inventions Boards reports will be made available to the honorable member for his confidential information.

4.   Yes. The report of the Army Headquarters Inventions Board which is being made available to the honorable member shows the reasons.

5.   Yes. A copy of report of the Army Headquarters Inventions Board was forwarded to the Air Ministry as the result of an official request, arising from the publication of an article in the London Evening News, dated the 1st November, 1938. The inventors were informed accordingly. The description of the invention as included in the Army Headquarters Inventions Board report was as submitted by the inventors in person.

6.   After having been informed of the forwarding of the Army Headquarters Inventions Board report to the Air Ministry, the inventors were invited to forward any further information they so desired for transmission to the Air Ministry, but no further information was received by the department.

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