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Wednesday, 1 September 1920

Mr MARR (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - In view of the fact that the money invested by the Victorian people in the last Victorian loan is invested in perpetuity, will the Treasurer state whether the people who invest in the Second Peace Loan will be able to redeem their bonds in ten years?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - So much of the money as is unredeemed earlier must be paid back at the end of ten years. There appears to be a misapprehension in regard to this matter. There are some people who imagine that the Second Peace Loan is on precisely the same footing as is an ordinary loan floated for public works, and other Government requirements. It is on an entirely different footing. All of the money is being lent to the " digger," and all of it will be repaid by him. As the repayments come in a fund for the redemption of the loan will be created.

Mr J H Catts - The Treasurer is very optimistic.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - I do not know that I am. Repayments must be made; in fact, they are being made already, and will continue tobe made. I am glad to be able to announce to the House that to date there have been scarcely any defaulters. The " diggers " are standing to their obligations already in a marvellous way, and I think we have reason to congratulate ourselves on what is actually being done. I am certain that this money will be repaid, and while it is being repaid we shall be diligently cultivating an asset which will be of incalculable value to this country. Already 17,000 soldiers have been settled on the land, and on the basis of one agriculturist for every ten or eleven other persons in the general community - that is the proportion given to me by the Statistician of New South' Wales a few days ago - we have provided for the support of an additional population of 170,000 or 180,000. Therefore, the Peace Loan is on a totally different footing from any other debt incurred for ordinary public works. It is a land settlement scheme on a big scale, and behind every penny of the money is a solid, live, reproductive asset. As the money is repaid it will go to the fund for the cancellation of the debt.

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