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Wednesday, 1 October 1941
Page: 0

Mr Morgan (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) n asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1.   Did the Army authorities thoroughly test out a device known as the "Wales differential", an Australian invention designed to overcome single wheel spin, a major weakness in difficult terrain in conventional motor vehicles?

2.   Were such tests made over two years ago at the instigation of the Army authorities?

3.   Were such tests satisfactory?

4.   Following such tests, did the Army authorities add such equipment to its stores list and requisition for same to the Department of Supply and Development?

5.   Did that department investigate the manufacture and nominate a firm for the manufacture of such equipment about twelve months ago?

6.   Has the business board withheld authority for such manufacture and the consequent establishment of a new Australian industry?

7.   Has the business board or other authority entered into negotiations with any organization with overseas affiliations or control for the testing or installation of alternative equipment?

8.   What is the limit of authority of the Department of the Army to purchase equipment without reference to the business board?

Mr Spender - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Tests were carried out with two vehicles fitted with Wales differentials.

2.   These tests commenced approximately two years ago.

3.   The tests were satisfactory from the point of view of mechanical operation.

4.   A proposal for the purchase through the Ministry of Munitions of a quantity of differentials was submitted to the business board for consideration.

5.   Investigation into possible manufacture was carried out by the Department of Munitions about twelve months ago.

6.   The Board of Business Administration, which is an advisory body, gave careful consideration to this matter, in close collaboration with the Business Manager of the Department of the Army and recorded that it was unable to recommend that approval should be given for the adoption of the device. The opinion of the Ministry of Supply, London, has since been obtained by the Department of the Army. The report received supports the recommendation made by the business board.

7.   The business board has not entered into any such negotiations as those referred to. No information is available as to any other authority having done so.

8.   £10,000.

Royalty Payments on War Materials.

Mr Morgan n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

What amount has been paid or agreed to be paid by the Government in respect of royalties on war materials(a) to local interests, and (b) to overseas interests or their Australian agents?

Mr Fadden - Inquiries are being made and a reply will be furnished as soon as possible.

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