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Tuesday, 11 September 1928

Mr BRUCE - On the 5th September the Honorable the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Blakeley) asked me the following questions, upon notice -

1.   On what date was the tender for the two cruisers accepted?

2.   On what date was work commenced upon the cruisers, and on what date were they taken over by the Commonwealth Government?

3.   What was the amount of the successful tender for the two cruisers?

4.   What is the estimated cost of the cruisers (a) upon being handed over to the Commonwealth, and (6) on arrival in Australia?

5.   Who were the successful tenderers ?

6.   What time was allowed for the completion of the cruisers?

7.   Has that time been exceeded, and, if so, by how much?

I am now in a position to furnish the following reply: -

1.   14th April, 1925.

2.   Not definitely known, but probably within two or three months of the acceptance of the tender. H.M.A.S. Australia was handed over on the 24th April, 1928. H.M.A.S. Canberra was handed over on 10th July, 1928.

3.   f 1,091,772 each, but to this must be added for a complete ship the sum of £1,292,228 for armament, ammunition, torpedoes, naval and victualling stores, alterations and additions, spares, &c, for which the builders were not asked to tender. 4. {a) £2,384,000 each. Vessels will be fully stored and equipped' for sea with spare fittings and armaments and reserve outfit of ammunition and torpedoes. (6) The estimated cost of bringing the cruisers direct to Australia is £50,000 each. Owing to the decision of the Government that H.M.A.S. Australia should visit America and Canada this estimate may be exceeded for that ship, but the estimate will apply to H.M.A.S. Canberra. The cost of the latter vessel* on arrival in Australia will therefore be £2,434,000.

5.   Messrs. John Brown and Company Limited, Clydebank, Glasgow.

6.   For H.M.A.S. Australia, 34 months; for H.M.A.S. Canberra, 37 months.

7.   Yes. For H.M.A.S. Australia by two months; for H.M.A.S. Canberra by two months.

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