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Wednesday, 19 June 1946

Mr Fadden n asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice -

1.   What was the total amount realized for the sale last week of 300-tons wooden hulls at the Shipbuilding Board's Bulk Stores, Derwent Park, and the shipbuilding yards, Prince of Wales Bay, Hobart?

2.   How many -were sold, and what amount did each realize?

3.   What was the approximate average cost of construction of each hull?

4.   How many of them were commissioned and/or used for war purposes?

Mr Makin - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The hulls are being included in Commonwealth Disposals Commission sales being held from 18th June to 21st June, 1946, at Hobart.

2.   See answer to 1. Three hulls will be offered for sale by the Department of the Navy.

3.   The approximate average cost of each hull is £28,000.

4.   None of the hulls offered for sale was in commission or used for war purposes.


Mr Fadden n asked the Minister for

Commerce and Agriculture, upon notice -

1.   Is the delivery of new Case tractors in Brisbane held up because certain items of equipment such as wheels, tyres, &c, have not been made available to the agents by the Common wealth Government? 2-. Iii view of the serious curtailment in th planting of wheat on the Darling Downs and elsewhere because of shortage of tractors, will the Minister take action to remedy the position?

Mr Scully - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   No. The Commonwealth Government does not supply wheels or tyres, &c, for any tractors. The Government has in the past, however, given assistance where additional auxiliary equipment in assembly was required. In the case in point, my department a asked the agents for the Case tractor if any assistance could be given, but was advised that there wore no difficulties in which my department could help.

2.   I have no knowledge of any curtailment in the planting of wheat on the Darling Downs or elsewhere which could reasonably be attributed to short supply of tractors. Actually farmers are now in a better position to plant wheat so far as tractive power is concerned than at any other period. In 1938 there were approximately 48,000 tractors in operation in Australia. This figure" fell to some 45,000 in use in 1942. Since then Australia's tractor force has risen to . approximately 60,000 in 1 946.

Mr Bowden (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   Are applications for tractors for industrial requirements given preference over applications for tractors for agricultural and soil conservation purposes ?

2.   Are more tractors allotted in Victoria for industrial purposes than for agricultural and soil conservation purposes ?

3.   How many applications for tractors for agricultural and soil conservation purposes were received in Victoria last year?

4.   How many tractors were allotted in Victoria last year for - (

Mr Forde - -The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following answers : -

1.   No.

2.   No.

3.   3,409.

4. (

War Damage in Malaya : Compens A'1'10N .

Mr Holloway y. - On the 10th April, the right honorable member for Darling Downs (Mr. Fadden) .asked the Minister for Externa] Affairs -

I.   What is the position with regard to compensation to Australian shareholders of companies in the Federated Malay States : and/or Straits Settlements - (a) whose property was destroyed or immobilized (i) by employees on the orders of the British or other Allied Army and/or Government or (ii) by any British or other Allied Army; (6) whose stores, mine spares. &c, were requisitioned by such Army and/or Government, and (c) whose assets have been lost or damaged directly or indirectly as the result of the war either by reason of war-like action or abandonment?

2.   Has the Raub Australian Gold Mining Company Limited made any claims with regard to the above matter?

3.   If so, what is the present position?

4.   When can finality be expected?

The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - ].. For some time discussions have been taking place between Australia, the United Kingdom and the Malayan authorities with the object of determining, inter alia, the proper procedure to be followed by Australian citizens and companies desirous of making claims for war loss or damage to properties and interests in Malaya. In these discussions no finality has yet been reached; but it is apparent that, according to the location of the property damaged, the civil governments' either of the Malayan Union or of the Colony of Singapore will deal with Malayan claims.

2.   In conformity with a suggestion of the United Kingdom Government, the claim of the Raub Australian Gold Mining Company is at present held by the Controller of Enemy Property, Department of the Treasury.

3.   Arrangements are at present being made for machinery for the registration and examination of claims relating to loss or damage in Malaya. It is hoped that, with the arrival of a Claims Commission in Malaya, the Colonial Secretary in Singapore and the Chief Secretary of the Malayan Union, in Kuala Lumpur, will soon be in a position to receive arid to arrange for the examination of all claims for war damage to property in Malaya. In this connexion, the Australian Commissioner for Malaya has been instructed to keep the Government informed of any step.-" required to be taken by Australian citizens and firms to protect their Malayan interests. The office of the Australian Commissioner foi Malaya is fully seised of the difficulties confronting the Raub Australian Gold Mining Company Limited and other claimants in the formulation of claims for war loss or damage.

4.   Claims will be dealt with as expeditiously as the general situation in Malaya permits

Common wealth Bank: Relations with Commonwealth Instrumentalities.

Mr Fadden asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Disposals Commission is sending customers to the Industrial Finance Department of th* Commonwealth Bank when they inquire about finance terms for purchases they desire to make ?

2.   I» it a. fact that such persons arc also informed that accommodation will depend upon their transferring' their other hanking business to the General Department of the Commonwealth Hank? 3.. Is there interaction between Commonwealth departments which gives the Industrial Finance Department of the Commonwealth Bank undue advantage over other institutions by reason of information supplied' by those departments ?

4.   If so, does the Government approve such action 1

Mr Chifley y. - The answers to the. honorable member's questions arc as follows: -

I.   The Commonwealth Disposals Commission refers customers to the Industrial Finance Department of the Commonwealth Bank only in those instances where the customers are asking that the Commonwealth Disposals. Commission or the Commonwealth Government' undertake financial arrangements. & No.

3.   No.

4.   See reply to No. 3.

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