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Tuesday, 21 March 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - Answering the last part of the honorable gentleman's question first, I will see just how much information I can get for him on that particular point. As to the views of Mr. Shrapnel, I thought that shrapnel had a sort of discursive effect when employed as a weapon of aggression. There are many economists in this country, but their views do not always coincide. I hope that the Treasurer, or for that matter, any other Minister, will not be required to comment authoritatively or otherwise on the views or surmises offered by economists to the public from time to time. I will concern myself only with facts. When I last had a look at the figures, the flow of overseas capital into Australia appeared to be even stronger than at any earlier point of time. It is rather encouraging, as I pointed out to the House quite recently, that despite a certain amount of speculative comment among economists and others in recent times as to the movements in Australian currency, the Swiss banking system 'has seen fit to make us a loan on what we can regard as very advantageous terms. I hope to be able in the not too remote future to inform the House of other developments which also reflect the strong confidence felt in Australia by investors overseas. All I can say at this stage is that there is nothing to suggest a diminution in the flow of capital which has been so valuable in enabling us to finance very necessary imports for Australian industry. On the contrary, all the indications are that capital is flowing in even more strongly than before.

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