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Wednesday, 10 April 1957

Mr Ward d asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to a statement by a delegate to the biennial conference of the Australian Wool and Meat Producers Federation held in Melbourne in February, that the Commonwealth Government's credit restriction policy was forcing farmers into debt, that farmers who approach their banks for loans are being advised to seek money for equipment on hire purchase, and that when they do so they have to pay hire purchase companies between 9 per cent, and 12 per cent, interest, compared with S per cent, on money lent by a bank?

2.   If so, will he state whether the statement accurately sets out the position?

3.   If it is not accurate, will he state where it is at fault?

Sir Arthur Fadden - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   I have seen press reports to the effect that a delegate to the conference referred to made a statement along the lines indicated. 2 and 3. The Commonwealth Bank has asked the trading banks to give, within the framework of general credit policy, preference in the provision of bank accommodation to rural and other export industries. It is not, of course, to be expected that all requests by farmers for bank advances will be regarded as desirable banking propositions by the banks concerned. The merits of individual propositions are for the banks themselves to determine, as is the advice which banks might give their customers about alternative sources of finance.

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