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Wednesday, 12 April 1961


Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice -

What is the present-day value of the Commonwealth unemployment benefit in terms of the real value of the Australian £1 as compared with what it was when the benefit was originally granted?


Mr Roberton (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The following answer is supplied: -

I refer the honorable member to the Treasurer's reply to his question on the notice-paper relative to the present purchasing value of the Australian £1. I regret that it is not possible to make the comparison requested.

Overseas Investments in Australia.


Mr Peters s asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   What was the total amount of overseas loans owing by Australian governments on 10th December, 1949?

2.   What was the total annual repayment of capital and interest in respect of those loans at that date?

3.   What is the total amount of overseas loans owing by Australia at present?

4.   What is the total annual repayment of capital and interest in respect of these loans?

5.   What was the total amount of investment in Australia by overseas interests on 10th December, 1949?

6.   What was the total amount paid annually as dividends on these investments?

7.   What was the total amount of investment in Australia by overseas interests at the latest date for which figures are available?

8.   What is the total amount paid annually as dividends on these investments?


Mr Harold Holt - The answers to the honorable member's questions are -

1.   and 3. On 31st December, 1949 - the nearest date to that asked for which information is available - the total amount of Commonwealth and State debt domiciled overseas was £A.552.4 million, converted to Australian currency at the rates of exchange then prevailing. On 31st December, 1960 - the latest date for which information is available - the total amount of Commonwealth and State debt domiciled overseas was £A.699.7 million. The 1949 figure included short-term debt of £Stg.24 million held in London by the Commonwealth Bank. This debt was repatriated in 1956-57 and replaced by an equivalent amount of debt repayable in Australia.

2.   and 4. The annual interest liability on overseas debt outstanding at 31st December, 1949, was £A.18.1 million. The corresponding figure for 31st December, 1960, was £A.28.7 million. The Commonwealth has certain contractual sinking fund and repayment obligations in respect of New York and Canadian debt and International Bank borrowings. In addition regular repurchases of Commonwealth securities are made by the Sinking Fund on the London market. The amount spent on contractual and other overseas repurchases and repayments totalled £A.2.6 million in 1949-50 and £A.11.3 million in 1959-60. The estimated amount in 1960-61 is £A.12.5 million.

5.   The Survey of Overseas Investment, which is conducted by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, has measured the annual inflow of overseas investment since 1947. However, no comprehensive statistics are available as to the total amount of private overseas investment in Australia. As available figures relating to levels make no allowance for the reserves of Australian subsidiary companies, and also for some other reasons, these figures cannot be summed to obtain the total amount of oversea capital in Australia. Particulars are available as to the amount of some components of oversea investment in companies. These components are paid-up value of shares, debentures &c, held by oversea individuals and companies, intercompany accounts owing by Australian subsidiaries to overseas parent or associated companies, and the value of net assets in Australia of branches of oversea companies. The sum of these components as at 30th June, 1949, the nearest date to that asked, was £321.6 million. It should be noted that this total makes no allowance for the equity of oversea investors in the reserves of Australian subsidiary companies, or the difference between paid-up value and market value of oversea holding in Australian companies other than subsidiaries.

6.   Investment income payable as dividends by Australian subsidiaries, remitted as profits by Australian branches, and payable on portfolio investment, totalled £19.0 million in 1949-50. This figure excludes particulars of dividends payable on holdings by Australian nominees of oversea investors and by oversea investors using Australian addresses.

7.   The latest date for which details are available of the amounts of the main components of oversea investment in companies (apart from reserves of subsidiaries) is 30th June, 1959. The sum of the components specified in the answer to question 5 was £950.6 million.

8.   The figure for 1958-59 covering the items of investment income payable as specified in the answer to question 6 was £50.2 million.







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