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Friday, 11 December 1914

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - I hail with satisfaction the announcement of the Minister of Defence that an inquiry will be made into this matter. I hope that very much time will not be occupied .by the inquiry. I have said that I did not see the concrete bed which has been spoken of, but it may have been covered up when I visited the dock, and if it be there there is no reason why the launching-ways could not be constructed at least as far as the water's edge. That should expedite the launching of the vessel. Senator de Largie may regard the Brisbane as being perfectly safe in her present position, but honorable senators generally are concerned about having the vessel launched at the earliest possible moment. I am assured that she could be launched to-morrow but for the absence of launching facilities. Senator

Guthrie made a remark which I think ought not to pass uncontradicted. He suggested, to my mind, that, in his opinion, there is not a sufficient depth of water-

Senator Millen - Did the honorable senator not know that Senator Guthrie is the humorist of the Senate?

Senator Guthrie - I did not say anything about the depth of water.

Senator GRANT - I understood the honorable senator to say that there is not a sufficient depth of water at the place where it is proposed to launch the vessel.

Senator Guthrie - I did not say anything of the kind. I said that there was not a rise and fall.

Senator GRANT - We know that the rise and fall at that place is about 6 feet at spring-tide. In yards on the Clyde and elsewhere the rise and fall of the tide is much greater, which may explain the difficulty expressed by Senator Millen. There must be some plan in existence, or Senator McDougall could not produce a pencil tracing of it. I hope that whatever is done will be done quickly, and that the Brisbane will be in the water at an early date.

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