§ 46. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Prime Minister whether the Australian Government has rejected a British firm's offer of six 11,000-ton steamers on account of the price; and whether he will advise the Government to commandeer the six steamers in question at cost price for the benefit of the nation?
The Prime Minister has asked me to answer this question. The statement in the first part of the question is not correct, as the Commonwealth Government do not propose to purchase additional ships. The question of commandeering therefore does not arise.
§ 46. Mr. THORNE
asked the Prime Minister whether the Government of New Zealand have decided to commence a State line of 20,000-ton steamers of about 20 knots to run between New Zealand and Great Britain, with a view of keeping down shipping freights; and if the Government will build a number of steamers of about the same size to be used for the same purpose?
The Prime Minister has asked me to answer this question. I have seen a Press statement on this subject, but have no further information. It is not proposed to take the course suggested in the second part of the question.