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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the

Treasurer a question. On 22nd November, and again on 23rd November, the right honorable gentleman advised the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the honorable member for Darebin respectively that the higher interest rates which he had announced the Government had decided upon would not apply to co-operative building societies. Will he give an assurance that this is firm Government policy? I am inspired to ask the question because in 1956, when interest rates were increased, the concessional rate fixed in regard to co-operative building societies was increased fifteen days after the general increase. I ask for an unequivocal statement about this matter, and also for an assurance that an announcement of a rise is not being delayed until after the Higinbotham by-election on Saturday next.

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