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Wednesday, 11 November 1914

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I am quite astonished at Senator Keating wanting to press for an extra pound in the way of interest. To my mind £5 per cent is really an exorbitant rate. This interest charge is an outrageous thing, and is growing.

Senator Keating - Merchants cannot get money on current account at 6 per cent.

Senator GARDINER - That is a very good reason for finding means to enable them to get it cheaper. Five per cent, is a fair thing. The difference between 5 and 6 per cent, is so little that I am surprised at the honorable senator desiring to amend the Bill in that direction. I should have been more inclined to accept an amendment to make it 4 per cent, instead of 5 per cent. In our legislation we should not set the example of high rates of interest, and I think even 5 per cent, is on the high side.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [5.56].- T do not think the proposal is at all extravagant. Not every proved debt will carry interest. A man giving a promissory note has to pay certain interest, and 6 per cent, would be a reasonable rate. The discount sometimes exceeds 6 per cent. A man who borrows now, and gives first-class security, cannot get money under 5 per cent., and will probably have to give 6 per cent., unless the amount is very large. The Minister might well accept the amendment, because it applies only to cases where a man is entitled by law to the payment of interest. If money is cheap, the rate will probably be fixed at 4 or 5 per cent., but no matter how dear it may be it cannot go above 6 per cent.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 81 to 83 agreed to.

Clause 84-

The property of the bankrupt divisible amongst his creditors, and in this Act referred to as the property of the bankrupt, shall not include -

(a)   Property held by the bankrupt on trust for any other person;

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