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Wednesday, 26 April 1961

Mr CALWELL - In addressing a question to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, I refer to the questions asked by the honorable member for Dalley on 11th April, the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith on 12th April, and the honorable member for Maribyrnong on 18th April, concerning the future of naval shipbuilding at Cockatoo Island, New South Wales, and Williamstown, Victoria, and the unsatisfactory replies which those honorable gentlemen received to their inquiries. I now ask the Minister whether the statement made by the Minister for the Navy, Senator Gorton, when speaking at a reception after the launching of Australia's latest anti-submarine frigate, H.M.A.S. " Derwent ", that no more naval vessels would be built in the near future, means that several thousand employees at the Cockatoo and Williamstown dockyards are in danger of dismissal or of being put on part-time employment. In view of such possible happenings will the Minister ascertain why the Department of Supply has ordered diesel engines worth £1,000,000 to replace engines in six Royal Australian Navy minesweepers, and to be installed in British shipyards, starting some time in June?

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