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Thursday, 2 June 1949

Mr Lang g asked the Minister represent ing the Acting Attorney-General, upon notice -

Will he furnish the total cost of the New Guinea timber royal commission and the fees paid to counsel assisting the Royal Commissioner ?

Mr Holloway - The information is not yet available but will be furnished to the honorable member as soon as it is available.


Mr Hamilton n asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice - 1.has the Commonwealth Government given consideration to the survey of an Indian Ocean Empire air route from Western Australia to England via Cocos Islands, Diego Garcia, Seychelles, Mombasa and Malta?

2.   If so, what actios has been taken to date?

3.   If not, is such a survey contemplated by the Government?

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

The Commonwealth Government recently authorized Qantas Empire Airways to carry out a survey Bight across the Indian Ocean, from Perth to Johannesburg via Cocos Island and Mauritius. The company's report and recommendations, together with information obtained by my department, are now being studied from technical and commercial aspects, but it is anticipated that facilities along tho route will not be available for some months after approval to operate such a service is obtained. An air service, on lines similar to that flown by Qantas Empire Airways in their survey, would provide for air service requirements between Australia and South Africa and will also provide an alternate route to the United Kingdom, while linking with the British Overseas Airways Corporation South AfricaLondonair service at Johannesburg. As the proposed Australia-South Africa service via Cocos Island and Mauritius would meet requirements as an alternative route to tho United Kingdom, the use of Diego Garcia and the Seychelles Islands is not warranted at present and. consequently no survey of these places is contemplated in the near future.

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