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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr DEDMAN - I have not seen the report in the Melbourne Herald to which the honorable memberrefers, but it is true that I made a statement to the effect indicated by him. I did say thatthe action taken by the banks was not in line with the suggestion made by me at the conference with the trading banks at the beginning of March. The suggestionI then made was that man-power should be obtained from the banking industry by the closing of branches in towns where more than one bank was operating. I be lieve that it is true that the banks, instead of adopting that suggestion, closed branches in towns where they had only one branch operating. I believe that that action is not in the best interests of the nation at present. I had another conference with the banks two days ago, when I told them that I desired them to implement the policy which I indicated at the earlier conference.

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