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Thursday, 3 December 1914

H.M.A.S. submarine AE2.

H.M.A.S. torpedo boats.

Provision is also made for portion of the year for torpedo-boat destroyers Torrens, Swan, and Derwent. In addition, the necessary sea-going personnel for H.M.A. Naval Establishments, Garden Island and Naval Depot,Williamstown, are provided. Provision is also made for officers and men temporarily appointed to the seagoing Force for the period of the war. The gunboat Komet, recently captured from the Germans, has been renamed Una and placed in commission as one of H.M.A. ships. Una, I understand, means ' ' the first ' ' - our first capture.

Naval Reserves. - Provision has been made for boys who passed from the Senior Cadets to the Adult Force on 1st July, i.e., boys attaining the age of eighteen years in 1914, making a total number of Senior Cadets of 1,776 provided for. The large increase in the Vote is to provide for calling up the Reserves for duty during the war, also Examining . Officers (Pilots) and Officers of Unattached and Retired Lists.

Signal Stations and Examination Services. - The increase here is consequent upon the war necessitating the Examination Services being put into operation at eight defended ports in the Commonwealth.

Maintenance of Ships and Vessels. - The large increase under this Vote is principally due to the war, necessitating the ships of the Fleet being constantly at sea, also expenditure in connexion with hire of Fleet Auxiliaries, i.e., Colliers, Supply Ship, Hospital Ship, Oil Ship, &c.

Fleet Construction. - Of the sum of £750,000 provided on the Estimates, £500,000 is to meet the payment of balance of cost of ships of the Fleet Unit and

Fleet Auxilaries, and £250,000 towards new construction of a light cruiser, as to the type of which the Admiralty is being consulted. My honorable friend, Senator Millen, outlined a proposal he had in that regard, but I was disappointed to find that, beyond the proposal, it had not advanced any further, and that no money had been set aside for that purpose, and no orders had been given other than the negotiations opened up with the Admiralty as to the class of cruiser which they would recommend.

The Royal Australian Navy has played an important part in the war. The coasts of Australasia have been guarded from attack by the enemy's cruisers; all the trade routes to Colombo, Singapore, the Pacific Islands, and America, have been kept open, and not a single merchant vessel has been captured in our waters. That is a statement which does not sound very much, but when we remember that one ship, the Emden, accounted for British vessels of the value of some millions of pounds, it is difficult to realize the full significance and import of thatsingle sentence as to the services rendered to Australia and to the Empire by the fact of our having a navy in these waters.

Ships of the Royal Australian Navy, together with Military Expeditions, have taken possession of all German possessions in the Pacific, and the Royal Australian Naval Reserves, reinforced by crews from the destroyers, successfully attacked the wireless station near Rabaul. Our ships have assisted in the convoy of the Australian Expedition to Europe.

The first page of our sea history has been inscribed with the well-fought action of the Sydney and Emden. I may say now what it was, perhaps, not safe to say before to-day - that at the time the Sydney fought that action with the Emden, our transports were within 100 miles of Cocos Island, so that we have reason to doubly congratulate ourselves, that, not only was our ship able to account for that German cruiser, but that the latter did not get in amongst our transports with a result which it would be difficult to estimate, and certainly something awful to contemplate.


Senator Lynch - Was the Sydney on convoy duty at that time, may I ask?







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