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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 1653

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs a question. Further to my inquiries concerning the purchase of aircraft from Jetair Australia Ltd, would the Minister inform me as to the following: To which countries did the Government offer DC3s as gifts, or did certain countries request these planes? What were the countries involved? On what dates were the offers made or requested? What was the specific offer or request in each case? On what dates were the planes delivered?

Senator WRIGHT - It will be recalled that the honourable senator asked a question on this subject on the 9th of this month and I said that I would obtain information on the general subject as early as possible. In reply to the specific questions that he has asked today, as to which countries were involved I say that 6 DC3 aircraft were purchased from the Jetair company because Nepal and Laos had a requirement for civil configuration DC3s, and 5 of these aircraft were delivered to those 2 countries. The Khmer Republic requirement was for military configuration aircraft, and 5 ex-Royal Australian Air Force DC3s plus an ex-Jetair DC3 which was in freighter configuration were delivered. Further details of those matters are in Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson's statement to the Senate, which appears in Hansard of February 1971. As to the countries involved, aircraft were offered to Nepal, Laos and the Khmer Republic. Discussions took place with Nepal and Laos during 1969 and with the Khmer Republic in late 1970.

Senator Cant - ls this in answer to a question without notice?


Senator WRIGHT - 1 explain to the honourable senator who interjects that Senator Turnbull asked a question on this subject on 9th May and I said that I would obtain the information as early as possible. I am now giving that information, but giving it in specific response to what I heard Senator Turnbull ask today.

Acceptances of Australian offers were received by the respective diplomatic missions as follows: From Nepal on 5th November 1969, from Laos on 19th February 1970 and from the Khmer Republic on 8th January 1971. As to the offers, the specific offer was an inquiry as to whether the countries concerned had a requirement for DC3 aircraft as aid from Australia and, if so, the type of configuration needed. As to delivery, the planes were delivered on the following dates: Nepal, 18th August 1971 (2); Laos, 26th September 1971 (3); and Khmer Republic, 5th September 1971 (1), 31st October 1971 (2), 21st November 1971 (2) and 5th December 1971 (1).

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