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Thursday, 25 September 1958

Mr Peters s asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice -

1.   How many Rolls-Royce motor cars are being bought by the Government?

2.   What are the costs of these cars?

3.   For what are they to be used?

4.   Would the purchase of Australian-made cars protect the overseas funds of Australia and, in addition, provide employment for our people?

5.   Does the Government consider Australianmade cars to be unsatisfactory; if so, what are the grounds?

Mr Townley - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: -

In 1948, the Prime Minister's Department purchased a number of British limousines and open cars for use on ceremonial occasions and to handle the visits of overseas dignitaries. These vehicles have now been in use for ten years and are no longer reliable. They are difficult and costly to maintain, due to their age and the nonavailability of spare parts. The Board of Management for Transport, after a thorough technical investigation, advised that reconditioning of the vehicles would be very costly and indeed on account of the spare parts problem not really practicable. Accordingly, the board recommended that for the purposes mentioned new Rolls-Royce cars should be obtained. Consequently, six Rolls-Royce cars are being purchased in replacement at a special price negotiated with the Rolls-Royce Company. Four are of the closed type and two are of the open type. The departmental policy is to purchase vehicles for the fleet having the maximum possible Australian content and practically all of the vehicles now held are predominantly of Australian manufacture. The very limited demand for ceremonial cars in Australia does not justify local manufacture and it was therefore necessary to obtain these particular cars from Great


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