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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Mr Fadden n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Supply and Shipping, upon notice -

1.   Did the Commonwealth Disposals Commission announce, on the 4th February, 1946, that it was using the Barouch and Hancock method of sales indexing which, within six hours, enabled the commission to trace full details including the price and buyer of every article which had passed through its hands?

2.   If so, will the Minister indicate what was the net amount in cash received by the Commonwealth Government in respect of the disposal of each of the following items declared by the Department of the Army to the Disposals Commission as at the 1st September, 1945, and referred to in Australian Military Forces Army Activities Bulletin No. 1, issued under the name of the Minister for the Army: - (a) 13,000 motor tyres, (b) 363 sets of harness and saddlery, (c) 51 tons of horseshoes, (d) 55,000 civilian suits, (e) 190,000 pairs of gauntlets, (f) 22,000 pairs of women's shoes, (g) 22,000 civilian hats, and (h) 190,000 torch batteries?

3.   Were these items sold (a) by auction or (b) by private treaty, and, in cither case, (a) in bulk or (b) in separate lots?

4.   If sold in bulk, what was (a) the largest quantity of each item above sold to an individual purchaser, and (b) the name of such purchaser and the amount received from such sale?

Mr.Dedman. - The Minister for Supply and Shipping has supplied the following answers: - 1.No. It was, however, explained to the press that the Commonwealth Disposals Commissionuses a statistical system which enables information regarding sales to be furnished, provided that specific details as to location, date and type of equipment declared as surplus to it are available. This is in accordance with the " goldfish bowl " policy recommended in the Barouch-Hancock report to the United States Government on war and post-war adjustment policies. 2, 3 and 4. The right honorable member is referred to the reply furnished on the 4th April to a question then submitted by him, which deals with each of the points now raised. I regret I am unable to add anything to my previous reply.

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