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Wednesday, 12 April 1961


Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice -

1.   When was Commonwealth-New Guinea Timbers Limited first established?

2.   What is the capital structure of the company?

3.   What profit or loss has resulted from the company's operations each year?

4.   What amount has been paid each year in (a) dividends and (b) taxation?

5.   What amount has been allocated each year to reserves?

6.   Have any Commonwealth Government subsidies been paid to the company; if so, what are the details?

7.   What was the original scale of wages paid to both European and native employees by the company, and what wages are they at present receiving?


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

1.   The company was incorporated in New Guinea on 11th November, 1952. The plywood mill was opened on 26th January, 1954.

2.   Nominal capital, ?2,000,000; issued capital, ?1,500,000, of which 750,000 ?1 shares are held by the Commonwealth of Australia and the remaining ?749,999 ?1 shares are held by Bulolo Gold Dredging Limited.

3.   Year- 1953-54, ?60,502 loss; 1954-55, ?169,610 net profit; 1955-56, ?140,732 net profit; 1956-57, ?162,343 net profit; 1957-58, ?147,510 net profit; 1958-59, ?157,436 net profit; 1959-60, ?110,476 net profit - (excluding Commonwealth subsidy not yet paid). 4. (a) Dividends. - In respect of year - 1955-56, £75,000; 1956-57, £90,000; 1957-58, £145,000; 1958-59, £370,000 (includes special distribution of profits undistributed for previous years); 1959-60, £90,000. 4. (b) Taxation. - Papua and New Guinea income tax became payable for the first time for the year ended 30th June, 1960, but has not yet been

5.   Reserves.- Year- 1953-54, nil; 1954-55, nil; 1955-56, nil; 1956-57, nil; 1957-58, nil; 1958-59, £21,800; 1959-60, £15,866.

6.   Subsidy by way of remission of Australian import duty in accordance with the New Guinea Timber Agreement. Year- 1953-54, £4,874; 1954-55, £65,462; 1955-56, £50,597; 1956-57, £90,394; 1957-58, £70,000; 1958-59, £70,000. 7. (a) Wage rates for European employees -

 

In addition, the company subsidises a number of living expenses of its European employees. 7. (b) Wage rates for Native employees.- In 1954-55, native employees were paid cash wages on scales ranging from 15s. to £5 5s. per month. In addition, they, their wives and families were provided free with food, clothing, accommodation, personal issues (including bedding, articles of toilet and eating and cooking utensils), first aid and medical treatment and sporting facilities. At present, native employees are being paid cash wages on scales ranging from £1 5s. to £12 per month and they receive the same free benefits as were received in 1954-55.







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