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Thursday, 27 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT (Higgins) (Treasurer) - by leave - The Government has arranged a drawing from the International Monetary Fund of foreign currencies to the value of 175.000,000 United States dollars £A78, 125,000- and a stand-by credit of a further 100,000,000 dollars£A45,000,000which will remain in operation for one year. The actual drawing of £A78,125,000 worth of foreign currencies will result in the immediate addition of that sum to our international reserves. The stand-by credit can be drawn upon progressively and, if necessary, the full amount can be drawn over the next six months.

In effect these transactions represent a precautionary transfer from our secondline overseas reserves to our front-line reserves of international currency. They have been arranged not because of any real anxiety on the part of the Government that our reserves will prove to be insufficient. On the contrary, they have recently shown some tendency to increase and the Government is confident that its policies will continue to restore a state of balance in our international dealings. Honorable members opposite are interjecting and I can well understand their discomfort. They found-

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - This is a statement by leave.

Mr HAROLD HOLT - If honorable members opposite propose to heckle me while I am making a statement by leave I assure them that they will get as good as they give.

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