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Thursday, 9 May 1957

Mr CASEY - The honorable gentleman is quite right. There is an unfortunate gap in our oceanographic knowledge, particularly concerning the eastern coast of Australia. I refer to oceanographic knowledge both from the scientific point of view and the commercial fishing point of view. I am very well aware of this gap, but it would be extremely expensive to fill. Not only is there a demand in Australia for it to be filled, but there is a world-wide demand from oceanographic scientists interested in scientific research. I think that the only answer that I can give the honorable gentleman is that we have so many things to do in Australia that it is impossible to do them all or, at least, it is impossible to do them all adequately. Consequently, we must try to pick out the things that are more important than average, and try to do those. The honorable gentleman called the projected vessel a trawler, but it would be a very much more substantial vessel than that. Its cost would tend to upset the Treasurer, taken in conjunction with the other things to which I hope very much he will be able to give me an affirmative answer in the relatively near future.

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