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Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I shall try to cover the various aspects of detail that have been raised in the honorable gentleman's question. In the first place, the two most recent loans were not raised1 in Switzerland and New York; they were raised in Switzerland and Canada. Earlier in the year we had raised a loan in New York. Secondly, all loans raised by the Commonwealth Government have the approval of the Australian Loan Council, which body consists of representatives not only of the Commonwealth Government, but also of the six State governments, and the terms, conditions and amounts of loan raisings must be approved by the Loan Council.

Thirdly, the works programmes of the States amounted to a total of £230,000,000. The Commonwealth was well aware that it was not practicable to raise this amount by borrowing either in Australia or overseas, or by combined borrowings in Australia and overseas. In the Budget we stated our estimate that £150,000,000 would be raised by borrowings. The total amount of £230,000,000 is devoted entirely to the works programmes of the States - not to any private interests, not to finance our imports from overseas, but for the purposes of the State governments in their own works programmes.

The borrowing programme has been proceeding satisfactorily and very much in line with the Budget estimate. An amount of £40,000,000 remains to be collected to reach the total set out in the Budget, and I am confident that this will be done.

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