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Tuesday, 22 May 1973
Page: 2464

Mr Garland asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

Concerning the six guns jettisoned by Captain Cook off the coast of Queensland, (a) by whom were they (i) discovered, (ii) recovered and (iii) cleaned or otherwise restored, (b) what process or procedure was used in their restoration and (c) who has possession of them now.

Mr Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   (i) and (ii) Four of the six cannons from Captain Cook's ship 'Endeavour' were located and recovered by an expedition organised by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, U.S.A. The remaining two were located and recovered by Mr V. Vlasoff under contract to the Australian Government.

(iii)   The cast iron cannons were restored by the Defence Standards Laboratory in Melbourne.

(b)   The coral was mechanically removed, the residual chlorides removed by an electro-osmosis process, the cannons washed in distilled water, dried and the surfaces sealed with micro-crystalline wax. Full details of the restoration are given in Defence Standards Laboratory Report No. 308.

(c)   One cannon, mounted on a carriage built by the Department of Transport, was presented to each of the following:

Great Britain, New Zealand, The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, The Queensland and New South Wales Governments.

The remaining cannon was retained by the Australian Government.

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