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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr CURTIN (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Defence. Is it a fact that the present lease drawn up between the Government and the management of the Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company Proprietary Limited is about to expire? Is it a fact that this Government does not intend to place any further orders at present with this dockyard after the launching of the frigate "Stuart" on Saturday last? Can the Minister tell me whether negotiations are proceeding for the sale of the dockyard and workshops to the present management, which is the subsidiary of a large British concern? Does the Minister realize that if this sale is effected more than 1,000 skilled shipbuilders and their assistants will be retrenched immediately?

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