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Thursday, 28 November 1935

Senator COLLINGS asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice - 1.Whether, in view of his answer on the 23rd September last, to questions by Senator Ceilings upon this matter, he can give the Senate any information regarding the two vessels to be built by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited?

2.   Has the contract been let, and, if so, are the vessels to be constructed in Australia or overseas ?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.The Prime Minister has supplied the following answer : - 1 and 2. The following information was recently supplied by the managing director of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited in relation to the matter: - "The Australian tender for construction of one or alternatively two ore-carrying steamers was found to be very considerably in excess of comparative British tenders. A conference was held with representatives of the Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company, and an opportunity offered to review prices with the object of reducing the margin of difference. The costs of steelplates and sectional materials were found to be quite in line with British prices, but the combined effect of the costs of other materials and of various uncontrollable items left the margin so great that we were not able to reach common ground, on which the building of those vessels in Australia could be made an economically sound proposition."

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