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Wednesday, 17 July 1946

Mr FRANCIS (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) - Has the Minister seen a press report to the effect that several of Dutch ships which hadbeen held up in Australia for the last ten months, because of the refusal of waterside workers to load them, have left Australia? Was the Government advised of the projected departure of these vessels? Is it a fact, as reported, that the Bontikoe is being escorted to Java by the M anoora? If so, what is the reason? . Were the Dutch ships manned by Australian personnel; and if so were arrangements made by the Government for Australian seaman to be made available for this purpose?

Mr MAKIN - No official intimation has been received either by the Department of the Navy or the Department of

External Affairs relative to the departure of Dutch vessels from Australia. The Manoora is taking certain Dutch nationals from this country to a point of disembarkation nominated by the Dutch authorities. Australian personnel are not manning any vesselsof Dutch origin.

Mr Holt - Navy personnel or civilian personnel?

Mr MAKIN - the best of my knowledge no Australians have been engaged for that purpose.

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