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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [10.41]. - After lengthy negotiations, Tasmanian Steamers Proprietary Limited undertook to provide a new vessel for the Tasmania service to replace the older vessels which did not meet with present-day requirements. On the 13th March, 1935, the Taroona was placed in service, and the older vessels Loongana and Oonah were disposed of. The terms of the agreement entered into between the Postmaster-General and the company were printed as a parliamentary paper, dated the 13th March, 1935. The cost of the Taroona, as delivered in Melbourne, was £313,680 4s. 3d., and under the terms of clause 39 b of the agreement, which provides that " for every £100 or part thereof by which the total net cost . . of the new mail ship . . . exceeds . ' . . the sum of £292,000, the subsidy shall be increased . ... by an amount of £12 per annum ", the subsidy was adjusted to the final rate of £22,604 per annum. Clause 38 provides for the payment of a subsidy at the rate of £50,000 per annum, subject to variation as described above, but of this amount £30,000 represents the service rendered to the Postmaster-General's Department in respect of carriage of mails, whilst the excess amount is the subsidy paid by the Commonwealth to secure better and speedier service between Melbourne and Tasmania. The account ant who examined and reported on the cost of the Taroona was Mr. A. A. Fitzgerald, of Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald, chartered accountants, of Melbourne.

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