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Thursday, 25 October 1973

Senator MURPHY - I understand that there will be a preliminary investigation under section 377a of the Navigation Act and presumably there will be a court of marine inquiry under, I think, section 358 of the Act. These will be comprehensive inquiries. Already the Senate has been informed that Mr L. W. D. Taylor has been appointed to make the preliminary investigation into the loss of the 'Blythe Star'.

Senator Rae - I am concerned about the defence aspect.

Senator MURPHY - I have no doubt that everyone would want a full inquiry into why the search was not successful. I do not think there is any doubt that the Government would want to know just what happened. We cannot assume anything from statements that have been made. The purpose of the inquiry is to get to the bottom of the matter, and I think there is little doubt that the Government, and not only the Minister for Transport but also the Minister for Defence, would want to know whether the procedures were efficient and, if not, why not.

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