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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) (3:23 AM) . - I move -

That this Bill be now read a second time.

This is a proposal to give us a little more loan cover. It is really a precautionary measure, and is not, so to speak, for immediate consumption. It is always wise to have plenty of cover so as to he ready for any emergency. I already have from the House authority for a considerable sum of loan money yet to be raised, but we feel that the margin is not sufficient. At the present time we are spending loan money at the rate of about £3,000,000 per month, and the outlook is that we shall continue to spend at that rate. All this loan money is in respect of repatriation, the payment of war debts, and other expenditure arising out of the war. It is in order that we may be ready to act should the necessity arise, that I ask the House for this further authority. The Treasurer (Mr. Watt), as honorable members are aware, is now trying to arrange matters in London, and if he can make a satisfactory arrangement there, it is just possible that we may not have to use the authority for which I now ask the House. It is, however, within the realm of possibility that he may not be able to arrange matters as we hope he may, in which case I shall have to obtain money here. It is so that I may have the authority to meet any emergency that may arise that I ask the House for this further cover. This is really a nominal matter, and I need not, therefore, discuss it further.

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