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Tuesday, 2 May 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - Hire purchase, of course, plays a valuable and important part in the economy of this country. However, owing to the rather excessive level of expansion in hire-purchase activities over recent years, we felt it necessary in our November measures to moderate that expansion to some degree and the level of total lending on hire purchase has shown some reduction over recent months. As to the constitutional position, power over hire purchase, except in Commonwealth Territories, is vested in the States. I think honorable members are aware that in recent years there have been some conferences between State government representatives and representatives of the Commonwealth Government at which endeavours have been made to secure greater uniformity of treatment of such hire-purchase matters as those referred to by the honorable member. I understand that some progress was made at those talks, but I am not in a position to advise him in more detail at the moment.

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