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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Treasurer) . -I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of the bill is to obtain a further loan appropriation or £75,000,000 in order to finance war expenditure from loan fund, and to authorize the raising of an equivalent amount of loan moneys in order to finance that expenditure.

Loan Act (No. 2) 1941, approved by Parliament in October last, appropriated an amount of £50,000,000. This, with the balance of the appropriation available at the 30th June, 1941, covers war expenditure from loan fund up to about the middle of March, 1942. A further appropriation is therefore necessary in order to carry on our war plans. In existing circumstances, it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty what our requirements will be; but it is anticipated that the present bill will cover loan expenditure to the 30th June next.

Since the beginning of the war, Parliament has granted war loan appropriations totalling £234,000,000. I need only add that, due to the circumstances of the moment, it is extremely difficult to determine exactly what the amount of loan expenditure will be. As honorable members are aware, the Commonwealth is associated with certain allied countries in connexion with different works.It is also difficult to anticipate the speed at whichmoney can be valuably spent. For this reason, it is not possible to gauge accurately the amount that it will be necessary to raise. Having before it as close an approximation as it is possible to make, the House is asked to approve of the raising and expending of the £75,000,000 for which provision is made in the measure.

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