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Thursday, 16 November 1939

British and Commonwealth Governments;

(2)   that the scheme be based upon the utilization of space in State railway workshops for the manufacture of details and the assembly of air-frame components and the sub-contracting of details to private industry,

(3)   that the assembly of aircraft complete with engines and of the necessary accessories and fittings, be carried out in two main assembly workshops to be constructed, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

These recommendations received the approval of the British and Commonwealth Governments. Governments of the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have agreed to the utilization of the State railway workshops at Chullora, New South Wales; Newport, Victoria ; and Islington, South Australia, for the manufacture of details and the production of airframe components to the stage of sub-assembly.

Mr Curtin - Would not the Governments of Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania have agreed also, had they been approached?

SirFREDERICKSTEWART.This action followed recommendations made. This arrangement necessitated the preparation of sections of these States, railway workshops as aircraft area workshops. The work has been practically completed in the three States, and the workshops are ready for the installation of jigs and machine tools and other equipment. Arrangements for the construction of the main assembly workshops at Mascot, New South Wales, and at Fisherman's Bend, Victoria, are in the hands of the Department of the Interior. Work has been commenced in both places and the buildings will be completed according to the pre-arranged schedule related to the production programme.

It has also been necessary to arrange for the provision of a main store-house. This is in course of construction on land in the Victorian Railways main storehouse area at Spotswood, and will be completed before the end of the present year.

While the area workshops are being prepared and the construction of new buildings is being proceeded with, shipments of jigs, tools and other equipment and of finished details and raw materials are being received from overseas, the capacity of private engineering establishments to undertake the manufacture of detailed parts is being investigated, and the necessary staff organization set up to permit of the scheme being carried out according to predetermined plan of production. The aircraft main assembly workshops at Mascot, New South Wale9, and at Fisherman's Bend, Victoria, and the aircraft main store-house at Spotswood' will be controlled directly by the general manager of aircraft construction.

In the complete organization which is now being developed, the chief mechanical engineers of the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian railways, respectively, will act as area controllers under the central organization, and will arrange for the manufacture and sub-assembly of details and components and the sub-contracting of work to private industry. As the first ten air frames will be assembled from completed details being supplied from overseas, progress can be made in the main assembly workshops, while the local fabrication from raw materials now being received of components and details for production beyond the ten air frames is being organized.

The direct and indirect employment of the necessary skilled tradesmen and semiskilled process workers will be a feature of the scheme, and will be of considerable industrial importance to the Commonwealth. Immediately tile organization was commenced, arrangements were made for the first party of the specially selected technicians to leave Australia foi training in England, and three additional parties have since been despatched.

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