H.M.A.S. Sydney - At Fremantle in late 1941 - One of the last photographs of H.M.A.S Sydney.
Press report about the Parliamentary Committee enquiring into the loss of HMAS Sydney
The Melbourne Age of Tuesday 23rd. of March 1999, reported that the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade that was asked in August 1997, to examine the circumstances surrounding the sinking and loss of HMAS Sydney on the evening of November 1944 ~ has recommended to the Federal Government: -
(a) An attempt should be made to find the grave of the body of an unknown Australian sailor found on a raft near Christmas Island in 1941 and buried on that island, and that DNA testing should be used to try to identify him.
(b) That the Federal Government should provide up to $2 Million to match $2 Million in public donations to pay for a search for the vessel off Western Australia.
This Committee also found
(a) No convincing evidence that a Japanese Submarine sank the cruiser. (c) Or that the Royal Australian Navy, the Admiralty, or the Australian Government had been involved in a conspiracy to hide the ship's fate from the public.
Finally, the Committee said, the law should be changed to give researchers access to some 21.6 kilometers of shelving, holding documents covering WW2, and held in archives, in case they held clues to Sydney's fate.
Part of the mythology surrounding Sydney and her loss, held that there was
"a box or a vault somewhere, filled with all the missing Sydney papers."
"Whilst we cannot rule out material being misplaced (through human error) there has been no sign that material had been deliberately concealed."
We now await any reaction by the Federal Government to these recommendations and observations from this Committee!
MJG. 25 March 1999.
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