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Tuesday, 9 September 1958
Page: 1014

Mr Webb b asked the acting Minister for the Navy, upon notice -

1.   Is the Royal Australian Navy experiencing a crisis in respect of man-power and morale?

2.   Are officers and men seeking discharge because of low rates of payment and because there is no hope of promotion?

3.   Is the Navy at present building six ships at a cost of more than £30,000,000?

4.   Is it a fact that no crews will be available to man these ships unless other ships are taken out of service?

5.   If so, what is being done to restore morale and retain man-power?

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

1.   There is most certainly no crisis in the morale of the Royal Australian Navy. However, there is a shortage of personnel particularly in certain technical branches and notably in the electronic field. This shortage of skilled man-power is not confined to the Navy, nor even to this country, but is world wide.

2.   No. The pay rates have been substantially increased and now compare favorably with those in most fields. Good prospects of promotion offer in the majority of branches.

3.   Yes. Two Daring class destroyers and four anti-submarine frigates are under construction. 4 and 5. No.

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