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Tuesday, 14 March 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The honorable member for Parkes seems to be under the impression that the disposition of investments by the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund is a matter for decision by this Government. That is not my understanding of the position. As far as I am aware, the trustees are free to exercise their own judgment as to how their investments should be made for the benefit of those who come within the scope of the fund. It is a fact that there is an understanding, I believe, under which the trustees invest about 30 per cent, of the funds available to them in Commonwealth securities. However, I shall see whether I can get any further information for the honorable gentleman. What I would like to have clear in my mind is whether he is now proposing that the Commonwealth Government should take the power to control investments by the superannuation trustees, or should exercise such influence as it possesses with the trustees of the fund to determine the direction their investments should take.

Mr Haylen - The sum of £1,000,000 has been made available to a rag shop when people have no houses.

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I have no doubt that many trustees of superannuation funds have made investments which would not please the honorable gentleman. As he knows, the Government has already indicated that it is taking action designed to ensure that a reasonable proportion of the funds available for investment are channelled into important government purposes.

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