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Wednesday, 3 May 1939

Mr Curtin n asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   What defence vessels are being constructed or are to be constructed in Australia?

2.   What is the price, plus exchange, of the cruisers purchased from Great Britain?

3.   What war vessels are to be constructed in Great Britain?

4.   What is the price of such vessels, plus exchange ?

5.   What is tlie estimated cost of bringing to Australia (a) the two cruisers and (6) other vessels ordered or to he ordered?

Mr Street - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - 1. (a) Two destroyers, Tribal class; (6) Twelve motor torpedo boats. (Special highspeed engines will need to be imported.) ; (c) Two escort vessels; and (d) Three seaward defence vessels.

2.   H.M.A.S. Hobart, £1,9S0,979; H.M.A.S. Perth, £1,979,607. (These amounts include purchase price plus cost of modernisation, re-fit, first outfit of maintenance stores and reserves of stores.) 3 and 4. It is not proposed to construct in Great Britain any of the war vessels provided for in the defence programme.

5.   The estimated cost of bringing cruisers to Australia is: - H.M.A.S. Hobart, £26,000; H.M.A.S. Perth, £50,000. Personnel to man H.M.A.S. Hobart proceeded to the United Kingdom by H.M.A.S. Albatross. Passages for the crew to man H.M.A.S. Perth have been arranged by merchant vessel at additional cost.

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