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Thursday, 8 December 1960


Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - The Leader of the Opposition seems to be terribly sensitive about this Higinbotham by-election. References to it creep into his conversation constantly, and into practically every statement he makes.


Mr Cairns - Why haven't you been there?


Mr HAROLD HOLT - I opened the campaign there.


Mr Haylen - You left the stricken field!


Mr HAROLD HOLT - Oh, no! The honorable member misjudges the position completely. If he were as confident of the loyalty of his own supporters as we are of the result of the Higinbotham by-election, he would be a much happier man. I have been asked what our attitude is towards interest rates applicable to co-operative building societies. I remind the House that the rates of interest are determined by the Reserve Bank, which makes its views known to the trading banks. The Commonwealth Government is represented on the board of the Reserve Bank in the person of the Secretary of the Treasury. The directive that went out from the Reserve Bank quite clearly reflected the view of the Government, I think. I shall make the text of that directive known to the honorable member. I have not had any indication myself that co-operative building societies are not being dealt with in accordance with the Government's wishes.







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