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Tuesday, 30 March 1965

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Has the Minister for Defence seen in today's Press a report of a statement by the Minister for Supply, Mr. Fairhall, that Australia's capacity for defence production was adequate to meet any limited war that could be envisaged? This report stated that Mr. Fairhall was speaking after the first combined meeting of the reorganised Industry Advisory Committees. He was reported to have said that 30 per cent, of the members of the Committees were sitting on them for the first time and that they had had no previous contact with defence production, foreign affairs and the policy of the Department of Supply. If the Minister for Supply was correctly reported, and the Industry Advisory Committees have just been reorganised so that 30 per cent, of the personnel are new members, what continuity of experience or planning for defence production exists apart from Government departments upon which to base the assessment that capacity for defence production is adequate to meet any limited war? Has the reported meeting any special significance in relation to the position in South East Asia?

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