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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4612

Mr Whitlam asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   On what dates have Treasury officials held discussions with financial institutions on setting up the Rural Finance Insurance Corporation promised by the former Prime Minister on 4th November 1970.

(2)   With which institutions have discussions been held (Hansard, 18th August 1971, page 199).

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Proposals for setting up a rural finance insurance corporation have been the subject of continuing consultation between officers of relevant Commonwealth Departments and also with officers of the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation, the Reserve Bank and the Commonwealth Banking Corporation. Such consultation has taken place over a lengthy period and has not yet been completed. '

As for the generality of the honourable member's question, ] should add that the Minister for Primary Industry announced in the House an 20th August last that studies were being undertaken by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics on the adequacy of existing rural credit facilities. The outcome of 'those studies will no doubt have a bearing on the question of setting up' a rural finance insurance corporation and its manner of operation.

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