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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - The Opposition does not propose to vote against this amendment. It does not seem to me that there is any harm in inserting the provision that in the performance of its function the Corporation shall have regard to the current monetary policies of the Commonwealth. It seems to me that it would bc inconceivable that a corporation of this kind could operate without having regard to those policies. If the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Kevin Cairns) sees any possibility of that, he sees a possibility of division, perhaps, between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury. He would be much more aware of that than I would be, and perhaps from his point of view it is necessary to provide a safeguard of that kind. If that is his reason for the amendment I can understand it. lt seems to be, however, that clause 7 (5.) provides adequately for the Reserve Bank generally to control the amount of money borrowed by the Corporation and, therefore, to control the amount of money that the Corporation can lend. I think that subclause 5 is meant for that purpose. I think also that it would be inconceivable that the board of the Corporation could look at sub-clause 5 and not carry into operation a policy which was in accord with the monetary policies of the Reserve Bank. Any view that the honourable member for Lilley might have that the board might operate in a contrary way seems to be a very strange view from a man who is as conservative as he is. I can see no reason for it other than his obvious desire to ensure that the Corporation, being the creation of the Department of Trade and Industry, will not operate contrary to the policies of the Treasury and the Reserve Bank. Of course, if he thinks it necessary to make that clear by an amendment we will not vote against it.

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