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Tuesday, 16 October 1956

Sir ERIC HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is the common practice of the Department of Defence Production to assist outside industries to gain experience of work required in connexion with defence production, to establish annexes to perform some of the surplus work that cannot be done within the department itself, and, in conformity with the policy of this Government, to keep industry generally in touch with matters associated with defence production, so that in time of crisis they can rapidly expand. The matter that the honorable member has raised, regarding work done in annexes, has been ventilated in this House on other occasions. When the honorable member realizes that every piece of work that is done outside the department is subject to government investigation and inspection, he will understand that statements that such work is not in conformity with the design and tolerances we require are so much nonsense. I cannot give any assurance that we will discontinue the practice of establishing in outside industry know-how in relation to defence production, but I can assure him that the lessening in the volume of work that is coming forward, which has resulted in a reduction of staff in the government factories, must also reflect itself in a lesser volume of work being done outside, if any work at all is done outside.

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