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Wednesday, 26 March 1941

Senator McBRIDE - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes. The conditions of finance are approximately uniform in all States but the amount of finance depends upon the output being planned for the annexe.

2.   Variations are made only to meet local conditions - the department is prepared to meet any representations in that respect.

3.   The general conditions are that the Commonwealth provides the machinery and plant, and if desired by the State authorities finances the erection of the building usually by way of loan free of interest, to be repaid at the expiry of ten years after deduction of any depreciation which may have been charged into production of munitions. 4. (a) To provide for increased production it has been necessary to obtain the assistance of engineering industry. Annexes have, therefore, been attached to commercial establishments and State Railways Departments principally for the manufacture of ammunition and ammunition components. In certain cases the Commonwealth has provided the buildings. In other cases buildings have been provided by annexe operators and plant installed therein at Commonwealth expense.

(b)   The South Australian Government had provided £20,000 for buildings for tool and gauge manufacture. The Commonwealth provided £33,500 for building the railway annexe, subject to it being taken over at a valuation by the South Australian Government when no longer required for munitions. The Tasmanian railway annexe is much smaller, and £14,000 is being loaned by the Commonwealth for the building. Interest will be charged at 4 per cent., but not until the State uses it. Meanwhile during its use for the Commonwealth the capital will be depreciated at the rate of 10 per cent, per annum against costs of shell production. The same principles apply to Western Australia and will be applied in South Australia and elsewhere on settlement. Time did not permit of such a system being worked out for the earlier annexes. In all railway annexes the Commonwealth provides machinery and equipment for the munitions production.

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