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Thursday, 22 September 1949

Mr RIORDAN (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Navy) - When the Government first decided to purchase aircraft carriers as the nucleus of an expanded Royal Australian Navy, consideration was given to the whole matter of the development of naval units in the light of experience gained during World War XT. According to naval experts in this country, in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, that experience indicated that the type of aircraft carrier known as the light fleet carrier would be suitable not only for present-day sea-borne aircraft, but also for aircraft of other types that will be in general use when the reciprocating engine is replaced by jet or turbo jet motors. It was decided therefore to purchase carriers of the Sydney type. Ever since this Government announced its plan to build up naval strength in Australian waters, a vicious section of the Australian press has endeavoured to " write down " the Navy. Recently, to the disgust of officers and ratings of the Royal Australian Navy, and of most decent Australians, these newspapers sought to give the impression that H.M.A..S. Sydney waa obsolete. That is not so. Sydney is the most modern vessel of its type and size afloat.

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