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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Supply) - A newspaper suggested a little time ago that, in fact, the Department of Supply had been approached by airline companies about the purchase of handcuffs. The statement in the newspaper was incorrect. When the regulation referred to was formulated by the Department of Civil Aviation, officers of the Department of Supply contacted that department and were informed that the Department of Supply would have to get in touch with each of the airline operators. As a result of this being done, Qantas Empire Airways Limited and two of the small airline companies have, in fact, purchased handcuffs manufactured at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow. Trans-Australia Airlines and Ansett-A.N.A. both have indicated that they want a cheaper handcuff than that produced at Lithgow, and that they intend to purchase supplies from overseas at about £2 5s. a set compared with £6 16s. 6d. for the Lithgow product. I assure the honorable member that the overseas product is inferior to the Lithgow one. The Lithgow handcuff is made according to exacting specifications required by the various police authorities in Australia.

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