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Thursday, 4 April 1957

Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay

Order! There are too many interjections.

Mr HULME - The fact that there are no overseas ships controlled by Australian interests brings me to the point to which the Minister referred a little time ago in reply to the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward), that if we do as Labour wants us to do, and secure an overseas shipping line comprising 100 ships, it will cost no less than £150,000,003 in capital expenditure. I say that the people of Australia would not stand for that after Australia's experience with the previous overseas shipping line, which lost between £500,000 and £600,000 in its last year of operations after having written £8,000,000 off its capital value. We have to accept the situation as it is. I believe that the recent increase of freights is justified having regard to the overall situation.

The honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. Riordan) made some reference to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. I think it is advisable for us to examine some of the facts in relation to this company. The profit of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company line in 1954-55 represented less than 4 per cent, of its invested capital.

Mr Pollard - Forty-eight per cent.

Mr HULME - Of course, the members of the Opposition know everything, but I am speaking in terms of the published accounts.

Mr Ward - On how much watered capital?

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