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Australian patrol boats for the Philippines

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NEWS RELEASE NO. M/11 15 February 1972


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Nigel Bowen, today

confirmed that his colleague, the Minister for the Navy, Dr Mackay, at

present visiting Manila, had informed the Philippines Government of an

Australian gift to the Philippines of six naval patrol boats.

Dr Mackay had conveyed this offer during a call on

President Marcos on Monday, 14 February.

The boats, to be given under Australia's SEATO aid programme,

would be delivered to the Philippines over three years, at a total

cost of approximately $A900,000-the Minister said.

• The six.45-foot craft would be used for general communications

duties and to assist the Philippines Navy in anti-smuggling duties.

Mr Bowen said that the Republic of the Philippines which

included more than 7,000 islands and islets, lost heavily in customs

revenue each year by the entry of smuggled goods.

The reduction of this loss by tighter controls would greatly

assist the Philippines' national economy. ·

The patrol- boats would be built in Australian yards and

delivered to the Philippines at the rate of tvo a year.

Supplies of spare parts for the vessels and their marine

diesel engines would be included in the offer, Mr Bowen said.