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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Mr BURY - Interest rates are much higher in Europe and North America than they are in Australia due to a complex of factors, but due largely to the tremendous pressure on resources in those countries, the upward thrust of costs and prices, the various deflationary and disinflationary measures which the authorities in those countries have been obliged to take and so on. 1 do not think that the people in those countries regard the current level of interest rates as reasonable; no doubt they all hope to see a considerable fall but so far there is no very positive sign that the table will turn. The second part of the honourable member's question concerns borrowings of the proposed corporation. This is a case where rumour, speculation, leakage and so forth have got out of the stable long before the horse. This being the case, anything I could say would be highly conjectural. Of course, this high interest situation could change in the course of time. I hope it will because the Australian Government has already been priced out of the market for its own loans. Naturally the proposed corporation will have to face these problems when they arise.

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