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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr BEALE - I welcome the question of the honorable gentleman, because it gives me an opportunity to clear up a misapprehension that may exist in his mind. I did not say that the difference was marginal in calibre. I said that it was marginal only in respect of performance. Indeed, the whole point I was making in my answer was that both weapons will use .30 ammunition. I remember that 1 used the phrase "! complete interchangeability of ammunition ". What the American authorities have said - and I read now from their official message - is that the performance of both weapons throughout the test was superior to that of another rifle which they mention, and that between the two there were only marginal differences. Actually, the American choice is one pound lighter, but in rate of firing and in all the other important elements the Americans do not suggest that their rifle is better than the FN. rifle. Neither the Australian Government, nor the United Kingdom Government, would dream of making any change. We are satisfied that we have a weapon that is as good as any other in the world.

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