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Wednesday, 5 November 1913

Senator MILLEN - The honorable senator asked me two questions the other day in connexion with the Fitzroy Dock. One was with regard to the wages paid to concrete workers, and the other was a question which he has just now repeated. I may be permitted to answer both these questions at once. With regard to the concrete workers, I have to say that award rates will be paid as from 13th August, the date of the award. On the subject of the dismissal of workmen, I have received the following memorandum : -

With reference to Senator McDougall's inquiry regarding men discharged from Fitzroy Dock, apparently owing to non-receipt of drawings from Melbourne, certain drawings are at Navy Office, being examined and checked as is customary; but these all relate to a very late stage of construction, and would not in the ordinary course of naval shipbuilding be needed for some considerable time.

2.   Regarding Senator McDougall's statement that a number of shipwrights have been discharged owing to the want of material, it is pointed out that material for the building of the warships at Cockatoo Island is being supplied by the Admiralty. and is delivered to Sydney direct. The Admiralty in certain cases, has been asked by cablegram to expedite delivery, but no instance is known in which lack of material has been the cause of delay or the dismissal of workmen.

Senator McDougall - No wonder we cannot build warships.

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