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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr CURTIN - I cannot say whether I wrote such a letter Or not. The policy of the Government regarding banking and monetary systems as it affects the conduct of the war has already been given effect by the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) with the support of the Government and with the agreement of Parliament. As the honorable member knows, the platform of the Labour party provides for the nationalization of banking. We do not regard the nationalization of hanking as a measure which should be introduced during the period of the war, having regard to our war commitments and to the state of political parties. This Government came into office during a time of great national emergency. It has not abandoned its social programme, and it does not regard the postponement of that programme until after the war as an illogical procedure. However, insofar as the nation's war effort can be assisted by applying the general principles of the Labour platform to particular parts of the national structure, then to that degree we are prepared to do so. The test as to whether such action is, in fact, in the best interests of the war effort will be applied by Parliament. Up to date, Parliament has accepted what we have done, not as something designed for the purpose of realizing a party political programme, but as being in the best interests of the nation, having regard to the need for winning the war.

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