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Tuesday, 29 June 1937

Senator E B JOHNSTON asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Has the attention of the Government been drawn to a statement made by Sir ArchdaleParkhill in Perth on the 22nd March last, and reported in the West Australian of the 23rd March, as follows: - "I want to point out how important Western Australia is in the defence of the Commonwealth . . . The coastal defence work going on here to-day is as great as that in any other part of the Commonwealth. The two towns that will be most adequately provided for by defence preparation, and where thousands of pounds are being spent, are Fremantle and Sydney. The expenditure on each is at present very much the same."?

2.   In view of this statement is it proposed to resume the construction of the Henderson Naval Base at Fremantle without delay, in order to place Fremantle defences in a relative position to those at Sydney?

3.   If not, why not?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.The Acting Minister for Defence has supplied the following answers to the honorable senator's questions: -

1.   Yes.

2.   No.

3.   No provision has been made for this project, and the naval advisers to the Government do not recommend that this workbe resumed. The naval situation, since the submission of the Henderson report has been affected by the completion of the Singapore Naval Base.

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