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Thursday, 11 May 1939

Mr STREET (Corangamite) (Minister for Defence) . - I take this opportunity to reply to the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Mahoney) who, with true and characteristic humility, brought before the House the claims of Hobart as a site for a naval graving dock. I cannot say offhand what data is available in the naval records concerning the various sites for naval bases throughout Australia, but I have no doubt that the information is fairly full and complete. However, in view of the very definite opinions expressed by a high naval authority - to quote the honorable member, who, I hope, will make available to me the name of the gentleman in question - I undertake to have a look at all the available information, and to see that it is brought to the personal notice of any individual who may come to Australia to advise the Government in connexion with the site for a dock, as well as to the notice of the Naval Board, if that has not already been done. Probably the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) would assert that as a site for a naval base Albany has qualifications at least equal to those of Hobart, and in his advocacy of the claims of Albany he would be iust as eloquent as the honorable member for Denison has been in championing the claims of Hobart. The honorable member for Boothby (Mr. Price) also has in mind a site in South Australia.

Mr Mahoney - I have cited the opinion of a naval authority.

Mr STREET - I assure the honorable gentleman that the representations which he has placed before the House to-day will be fully considered.

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