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Tuesday, 11 April 1961

Mr Stewart t asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that the Government and contractors to the Government have placed, and are placing, orders overseas for the following goods: - Guns, shells, ammunition, cordage, webbing, tapes, threads, parachutes, dinghies and underwater equipment?

2.   If so (a) What quantities of these goods have been supplied and what orders are still oustanding? (b) Are any other items of defence equipment being obtained from overseas sources? (c) Are any of these goods available from Australian manufacturers and have many of them been previously obtained from these manufacturers?

3.   What was the value of defence equipment obtained from overseas during 1959-60, and during the current financial year to the latest date for which figures are available?

Mr Hulme (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Supply) - It is the Government's policy to buy defence equipment in Australia wherever it is practicable and desirable to do so. The services may place orders overseas for specific items of equipment where there are significant economies in doing so and where there is no over-riding defence reason for it to be produced in Australia. It is not considered appropriate to give publicly detailed information on all the items mentioned.

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