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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) (Assistant Treasurer) . - The necessity for the introduction" of this clause is easily explained. An attempt is being made to insist that people shall honour their obligations and pay interest on the money that they have borrowed. That there is much confusion about the subject is shown by the remarks that have been made by honorable members opposite. It is also evident how dangerous is the. leadership of some of the honorable gentlemen who profess to be leaders of the people.

The honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) has referred to a company, which he did not specifically name, but which, it is perfectly obvious, is a company with which I am personally associated. In discussing whether people should honour their debts, he quoted a note which appears at the bottom of a stock exchange list relating to " dividends in arrears." If the honorable member had grasped the significance of that note, he would have realized that this company has borrowed money, and that it will have to pay interest on the money so borrowed as it becomes due, even if it means the selling of every asset which it possesses. This company will be obliged to dispose of everything it has in the world, if necessary, in order to meet its obligations. The . "dividends in arrears " to which the honorable member has referred, are due to the unfortunate shareholders who are the proprietors of this company - the people who have invested their all in the company, and have received nothing in return. The company will have to pay every shilling that it owes, even if it means the loss of every asset it has. That is the true significance of the facts referred to by the honorable member.

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