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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr CUSACK (Eden) (Monaro) . -It is gratifying to know that success has been achieved in the conversion of a stupendous loan, the like of which has not been known in the whole world. The honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Parkhill) has insinuated that the Government which I support is, to some extent, responsible for the financial position in New South Wales, owing to the closing of the Government Savings Bank in that State. I congratulate the Go vernment on the success of the conversion loan, and I think that it would have been recreant to its duty if it had not brought down a measure such as that now before the House, for the purpose of securing equality of sacrifice, and dealing with those bondholders who have declined voluntarily to convert their stock. In my electorate there are a number of small bondholders who will suffer great hardship under this bill; but I feel certain that the Government will show them all possible consideration. The Government, is in no way responsible for the attitude assumed by the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales. The control of that institution has been handed over to a set of septuagenarian satellites of vested interests who are able to prevent the policy of the Labour party in regard to banking reform from being put into operation. Those men were appointed by a gentleman who is supposed to be a statesman. He has one leg in the Premiers' plan and the other leg in the Lang plan. With the leg in the Premiers' plan he has kicked usurers and the rack-renters, and has done good for the workers, and with the other leg he has kicked the workers, and reduced the basic wage, without submitting the matter to arbitration, and has kicked over the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales. The honorable member for Warringah will be pleased to know that on Monday next a new publication, to be known as The World, will be launched by Senator Barnes. If it had been published two years ago, we should not have been called upon to pass legislation of the nature of this bill.

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