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Wednesday, 8 November 1967

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Air. I refer him to a recent report that claimed that the Government might drop six reconnaissance planes from Its order for Fill fighter bombers. The (report claimed that this would save $1 Om. I ask the honourable gentleman: Is the report correct? If so, why was not the Parliament advised that the Government was not committed to buying the reconnaissance version? Does this mean that without reconnaissance planes Australia would require only eighteen Fill fighter bombers, not the twenty-four ordered by the Government? If this is a correct statement of the facta, is the Minister considering cutting back Australia's order to eighteen of the fighter bombers so that some savings can be made in the spiralling costs of the Fill?

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