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Tuesday, 22 March 1927

I have pleasure in supplying the following information in reply to the questions asked in your letter dated 11th May : -





The amount of £3,4ja8,51'8 was provided out of profits of the Australian Note Issue. This- debt was redeemed and cancelled on the transfer of the Australian- Note- Issue to the Commonwealth Bank, in 1920'.

5.   In .particular, to what extent was the Note Issue, free of interest, used for the above purposes ?' £3,428,518 from December, 1920.

Yours faithfully,


Acting- Secretary to the Treasury.

I direct attention to these figures, as some honorable senators are continually saying that Commonwealth money is being expended on the construction of the Kyogle to South Brisbane railway, towards the cost of which the Commonwealth, New South Wales, and Queensland contribute. The representatives of Western Australia have recently put up a vigorous fight for a subsidy from the Consolidated Revenue to enable the State to pay its way, although it had a surplus last year. For the information of honorable senators, I mention that a sum of £3,428,518, out of profits of the Australian Note Issue Fund, was expended on the construction of the east-west line, which,, of course, also benefits South Australia, and that a very substantial sum is not carrying any interest, and has not done so for the last seven years. At 5£ per cent., this sum would be returning approximately £175,000 a year, which I regard as a very substantial contribution to Western Australia. Although the Western Australian people are assured of a substantial sum such as that provided in the measure which recently passed this Chamber, they also have the use of this sum of £3,428,518 free of interest. When reference is being made to a Murray Waters Scheme, and the Kyogle to South Brisbane railway, it is very desirable that an outstanding factor such as this should not be overlooked

I should like the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways to state what is being done in connexion with the construction of southern section of the north-south railway, which was authorized by Parliament some time ago. Has the work been commenced ?

Senator McLachlan - Yes.

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