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Thursday, 18 February 1971


Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Supply as such and as the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. To what extent will the $1On cut in defence procurements in Australia announced by the Minister for Defence, and which apparently will include such items as spare parts and related equipment, affect the efficiency of Australian private and government factories and their ability to supply goods and services which might otherwise be expensive imports and thus create a demand, in special circumstances, for the importation of such articles? Will these reductions slow down any current or proposed works in Australian shipyards or in Australian motor vehicle plants which are now producing certain Army equipment? ls it anticipated that these cutbacks will in any way affect the production of the Australian prototype aircraft now being developed here? Will the project be slowed down because of the Government's current policy?

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSONI shall deal first with the last part of the honourable senator's question because I have a more specialised knowledge of that matter. I do not envisage that the announced cuts in expenditure will have any effect on the Project N work, which is being carried out in phases, lt is not expected that there will be any variation in that programme. The balance of the honourable senator's question was most comprehensive. I shall place it on notice and refer it to the Department of Defence. When the Department of Defence supplies information I will add a component dealing with the matters related to the Department of Supply, l will give the honourable senator and the Senate a comprehensive answer. To give a short answer at question time would not do justice to the magnitude of the question.







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