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Wednesday, 10 April 1957

Mr BEALE (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Supply) - I can understand the honorable member's asking this question, and I sympathize with his very obvious interest in this subject. It was announced in the press this morning that the Government had decided upon the manufacture of a super-sonic fighter aircraft in Australia. That is a decision in principle, and the details have yet to be worked out. One of the important details to be worked out, of course, is where the work load will go consequent upon this very important decision, which indicates the Government's confidence in the aircraft industry and its belief that it is essential to the efficiency of the Royal Australian Air Force and to the maintenance of Australia's defences, fi I remember rightly, there are some thirteen or fourteen subsidiary establishments in Australia serving the aircraft production industry, as well as the three main companies that manufacture aircraft for us. In addition, there arc 400 or 500 subcontractors. When a great project like this is put in Lund, a quantity of work sooner or later must flow into some of the subsidiary establishments and to the subcontractors. I am unable to tell the honorable gentleman at present the degree to which establishments in his home city may be affected. Perhaps I shall be able to tell him more later. All T can say at present is that the Government is determined to maintain an efficient aircraft production industry in this country.

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