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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr LYONS (Wilmot) (Prime Minister and Treasurer) (1:30 AM) . - The support that the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) has given to the proposition of the right honorable member for Cowper (Dr. Earle Page) would make it easy for the Government to accede to it, but I am afraid that we can make no definite distinction between the various amounts. The bill itself provides that they may be applied for the meeting of State obligations.

Mr Scullin - Does the Prime Minister suggest that under this clause impounded moneys of a State may be used for any other purpose than to meet the default of that State?

Mr LYONS - No.

Mr Scullin - That is the impression which the Prime Minister has given.

Mr LYONS - There is nothing in the bill compelling us to deal with any particular amount. The responsibility is upon that State Government for getting into a position which entails all these difficulties. A defaulting State Government must take the responsibility for the consequences of its action. The Commonwealth will not accept that responsibility. I can give no assurance that any particular sum will be segregated, although it would be within the power of the Commonwealth to do that if it so desired.

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