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Wednesday, 26 March 1941

Senator DARCEY (Tasmania) . - The answer which I received to-day to a question bears out all I said last week concerning what I described as the treasury-bills racket. For once I received a straightforward answer. I was informed that the discount rate on treasury-bills in Australia was reduced, as I suggested previously, from If per cent, to \\ per cent, as from the 1st May.

The rate of 1^ per cent, for three months works out at 6 per cent, per annum. Of course, as I have pointed out on previous occasions the Government would have no need to issue treasury-bills at all if it adopted a sound system of finance. The following news item appeared recently in the Sydney Morning Herald: - " An invitation to the Commonwealth Government to commit national suicide " is the description applied by the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Fadden) to a resolution passed in November by the Western Australian Legislative Assembly.

The comment is made in a letter from Mr. Fadden to Senator Johnston ... In his letter, Mr. Fadden said that in one sense to say that national credit should bc used i.'i this way came very near to being a statement of the Commonwealth Government's policy, for essentially that was what it had been doing on a bold scale ever since the outbreak of war.

I defy Senator McBride or any other honorable senator to reconcile those two statements. As Sir Grafton Smith said "Most men, even without being consciously dishonest or willingly stupid, seem to be unable to examine advanced views with understanding and impartiality ". That is my difficulty in this chamber.

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