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Wednesday, 23 March 1927

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - The reasoning of the Leader of the Opposition is greatly at fault, as it often is when he endeavours to tackle financial problems. He has charged the Treasurer with a change of front in regard to postal operations. Such a statement is absurd. The honorable senator has failed to realize that, in a business such as that of the Postal Department, it becomes essential to borrow money if the people are to be given the best possible service.

Should the revenues of the department be sufficient to meet interest and sinking fund payments, the policy which Dr. Earle Page enunciated as a private member is carried out. If, as a business man, the honorable senator found it necessary to borrow £10,000 for additions to his premises to cope with increasing trade, and he was able to make provision out of his revenue for interest payments and a sinking fund spread over a number of years, would he say that the business was not self-supporting ? The same principle applies to the Postal Department. In view of the development of the department, the policy followed years ago, that of depending entirely on revenue for carrying out its various important functions, would be quite out of place to-day. A borrowing policy on sound lines is justifiable in any business which has developed as our Postal Department has done.

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