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Friday, 6 March 1942

Senator DARCEY - They want a policy different from the policies of all governments since federation. The hon orable senator smiles. We are asking men to face all the horrors of war, and even give their lives, for 6s. a day. I cannot, see anything to laugh about in that.I have not smiled in this chamber for a long time. The things that happen in. here hurt me very much, as they would, hurt any man with honesty of purpose. After serving in the Senate for fouryears, I have reached the conclusion that, whatever party may be in power, the people will never receive the consideration to which they are entitled. I am. sorry to have to say this, but the conclusion is inescapable. The people of England are talking to-day about restricting, the profits of the hanks. But nothing has been done in Australia to restrict banking profits, nor has anything been done to prevent the banks from creating credit out of nothing and charging it up to the nation at 3½ per cent. I am not concerned about the amount that the banks make in their ordinary profits. If people are prepared to accept 2¼ per cent. on their deposits and to pay 6 per cent. for their overdrafts, that is their concern. But are we prepared to allow the private banks to create out of nothing the hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of credits that will be wanted for the prosecution of the war, as they have done in the past? No man can truthfully deny that they have done so. We should use our own credit through our own great national bank for the needs of the war. That was the purpose for which the Commonwealth Bank was created. But no government has ever used it for that purpose. Australia has never had a government worthy of our heritage. I am an old man with a lot of experience, and I attended meetings at which federation was advocated by the great orators of the early days. Those men sold the people. They told us that the cost of federation to each taxpayer would be little more than the value of a dog licence. If the early Commonwealth governments had- understood finance, we should not be in the shocking position that we are in to-day, nor would we be at war.

Senator McBride - That is nonsense.

Senator DARCEY - Six months before the outbreak of war, I read to this chamber a statement entitled "Warning

Europe", which had been prepared by Major C. H. Douglas, the only man who told the people of Europe that war was inevitable under the existing monetary system. Unfortunately, that statement has proved to be true. I recall attending a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Sydney a couple of years ago, when a wreath was placed on the monument with a large placard bearing these words, " Because you would not think, we had to die ". That was a true statement. Because there has been no constructive thinking by Australian governments, hundreds of people are dying to-day and millions more will have to die. Until we have in this Parliament men of character who will put what they can into it instead of taking all that they can out of it, there will be no change of the present shameful system. A committee of members of this Parliament is at present considering social reforms. What is the use of that? We all must know that our rotten monetary system hasbrought the existing dreadful social conditions into existence. We cannot improve social conditions until the cause of our present bad conditions is removed. Professors tell us that, in the physical world, there is no effect without a cause. Why do we not get down to fundamentals, and find the cause of all the trouble in the world? Since I have been a member of this Senate, I have learned that no members of any government that has been in office during that period has tried sincerely to find what must be done in order to improve social conditions and make the world fit to live in.

Senator Allan MacDonald - We cannot alter the human system.

Senator DARCEY - The character of a human being is determined by his environment. Give to the people economic security, which they have never had under any government, and all this grasping and fighting and cheating to try to make themselves secure will gradually fade away and we shall have common decency prevailing in the world. We were told when old-age pensions were introduced that the system would do away with thrift.

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