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Thursday, 4 October 1956


Mr L R JOHNSON (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) son asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been attracted to the fact that commercial telephone subscribers have been seriously inconvenienced and office work disorganized as a result of mechanical repairs and switchboard replacements being performed in office hours?

2.   Has the department rejected requests by subscribers that this work be performed after office hours on the understanding that the subscriber will pay any additional cost involved?

3.   Was this arrangement in operation for a number of years and, as a result, the best interests of the subscriber served?

4.   Will he consider making this service available to subscribers in the future with a view to avoiding the disruption of services?


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

1.   No.

2.   Inquiries have failed to disclose any casewhere such request has been declined.

3.   Yes.

4.   The service to which the honorable member refers is still in operation and will be made available where required.

Shipbuilding.

Mr.Crean asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice -

1.   What permits for ship construction outside Australia have been granted to shipping companiesoperating in Australia?

2.   For what kinds of vessels have the permitsbeen granted?

3.   Were some of the contracts for construction of these vessels let in Great Britain?

4.   Is it a fact that, because of pressure of work, in shipping yards in Great Britain, some contracts have been diverted to other countries including Germany and Japan?

5.   Has any of the projected construction for Australian companies been affected by the circumstances in British shipping yards?


Mr Townley - The Minister for Shipping and Transport has furnished the following replies: - 1 and 2. Current approvals granted to Australian companies to have vessels constructed overseas after investigation had shown Australian prices and delivery dates were not comparable, together with the type of vessel, are as follows: -

 

3.   Yes.

4.   It is understood the volume of work in United Kingdom shipyards has resulted in the diversion of some orders for new tonnage to European and possibly Japanese yards. No doubt diversions have also resulted from price considerations. 5- Only three of the vessels listed above for which approval to build overseas has been granted are being built outside the United Kingdom. The vessels concerned are the two small auxiliary ketches which are being built in Hong Kong and the 3,450 dead weight tons vessel being built for Australian Steamships Proprietary Limited, which has been ordered from a German yard. In submitting their application to have this vessel built overseas Australian Steamships Proprietary Limited stated the German yard offered earlier delivery and a lower price than the best United Kingdom or Australian offer they received. The same conditions applied to the vessels being built in Hong Kong.







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