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Wednesday, 23 November 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - The honorable gentleman succeeded in introducing some highly debatable comment in the latter part of his question. I hope that there will be other more suitable opportunities for us to discuss these matters in greater detail, but I may answer the question broadly in this way: Not only is the action proposed in respect of life insurance companies consistent in principle, I believe, with action that this Parliament has previously endorsed in respect of the disposition of funds in the hands of savings banks and trading banks, but the Government, recognizing the value to the individual policy-holder of a stable currency, has adopted measures designed to check inflationary movements in Australia. The life insurance policy-holder has a very direct personal interest, for reasons which the honorable gentleman has mentioned himself, in seeing that inflation does not erode the value of his policy. The measures that we have adopted to which he has particularly referred, and the other measures which I have announced on behalf of the Government, are designed to reduce inflationary pressure and, in that way, to maintain, not only the real value of the bond return, but the real value of life insurance policies.

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