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Tuesday, 22 November 1938

Mr Drakeford d asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

Will he furnish the House with the total value of imports of arms and munitions and all materials associated with the defence of Australia, excluding cruisers, for the years 1931-32 to 1937-33, showing each year separately 1

Mr Street - The information is being obtained and a reply will be furnished to the honorable member as early as possible.

Mr Rosevear r asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Bow many munition annexes have been established to date?

2.   What is their location?

3.   How much money has been expended to date on each annexe?

4.   What is the value of output to date?

5.   What method is adopted in fixing a just price for materials supplied by these annexes?

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

1.   None. The negotiations which are proceeding with State governments and selected civil firms have not yet been completed.

2.   The locations of the annexes will be in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

3.   It is not desirable at this stage to quote expenditure incurred against individual annexes. Plant and equipment to total value of £233,443 has already been ordered, further orders are being prepared and will be placed as soon as possible.

4.   See answer to No. 1.

5.   Methods of fixing prices cover the costing of materials, labour, and overheads, and the control of profit.

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   What principle was followed by the Government in the selection of the personnel of the Defence Advisory Committee?

2.   What principle was followed by the Defence Advisory Committee in selecting the private firms to whom financial assistance is to be afforded for the extension of their premises and plant for the manufacture of munitions?

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

1.   The gentlemen comprising the Advisory Panel were invited by the Government to serve on that panel and to assist the Department of Defence in its plans for industrial mobilization. They are eminent business men who are rendering, in an honorary capacity, considerable assistance to the department.

2.   The private firms with whom annexes are to be established were approved by the Government, having in view their present equipment, toolmaking capacity, and class of manufacturing activity in relation to the work which will be required to be carried out in the particular annexes.

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