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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr HAYLEN (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address a question to the Treasurer. I should have preferred to address it to the Prime Minister, he being the architect of the plan to demolish the Commonwealth Bank which was forecast in the statement that he issued yesterday. I should also have liked to thank him for giving the Australian Labour party the best fighting platform it has had since before 1949, by the naked brutality of his statement on the future of the Commonwealth Bank and his total surrender to the trading banks. I now address my question to the Treasurer, with respect to his known views on this cut-up of the Commonwealth Bank, which, in the secret places of his heart, he abhors as much as we do. I ask, first, what virtue does the Treasurer see in the creation of two boards to run what the people know and believe to be the one and indivisible bank of the people? Secondly, what isto become of the £740,000,000 in the savings bank? Which of the new banks will administer it, and how far will the Government defer to the advice of the trading banks, which have their own savings banks, on this matter? What is the point in causing anxiety in the minds of the people regarding the savings bank? Is it simply to ease the clamour of irresponsible backbenchers with Cabinet rank in mind? Thirdly, how is the Government to justify the credit squeeze and its alleged antiinflationary policy, which has brought industry to the borders of bankruptcy, if it now drops that plan and puts the special deposits in a thinly disguised drawing account for the trading banks to feed on at will like donkeys from a hay-stack?

Mr Freeth - I rise to order!

Sir Arthur Fadden - I am surprised at the-

Mr Calwell - The honorable member has not finished his question.

Sir Arthur Fadden - Mr. Speaker-

Mr Calwell - An honorable member has taken a point of order.

Sir Arthur Fadden - I will take a point of order-

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