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Thursday, 24 November 1927

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Prime Minister ascertain what rate of interest the British Government is paying for the money, and what it is charging Australia ?

Mr BRUCE - This subject is scarcely one that can be adequately covered by questions and answers without notice. Possibly on some future occasion it might be discussed, although I do not think that desirable at the present moment. It is extremely difficult to ascertain the average rate of interest paid by the British Government for the whole of the indebtedness incurred for war purposes. In order to arrive at the exact figure one would have to take into account the whole of the funded debt as well as the floating debt and the arrangements made with the United States during the war and after the war. I do not know the figure, but I believe it is in the region of £4 15s. The rate of interest which the Commonwealth is paying is £418s. 4d. per cent. We pay £6 per cent, annually, but the excess over £4 18s. 6d. goes towards the reduction of the debt.

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