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Wednesday, 21 October 1931

The Leaderofthe Federal Opposition, Mr. Lyons, to-day described as serious the Federal Treasurer's announcement that on unconverted tax-free securities, interest is being paid at reduced rates, while in regard to unconverted taxable securities, no interest has -been paid since August.

Mr. Lyonssaid that this action meant that in one case the Treasurer had arbitrarily reduced the interest rate, and in the other he had repudiated payment pending Parliamentary sanction for the Government's proposals.

The honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Lyons), who talked about other honorable members as repudiationists with respect to interest payments, has now become a repudiationist himself, because he is a supporter of the plan which provides for such a course. Honorable members opposite are to-day, of sheer national necessity, being forced to adopt an attitude which they condemned twelve months ago. Had this Government then stood to the Labour cause, and not sacrificed its honour and disregarded its obligations to those to whom the party owes its existence, the serious divisions within the ranks of the party throughout Australia would not have occurred. Those of us who believed in the fundamental principles of Labour were forced to take a stand against the policy of this Government, and our action has undoubtedly been vindicated.

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