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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Mr HOWSON (Casey) - I disagree with the honourable member for Lalor (Dr J. F. Cairns). I believe that the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Kevin Cairns) has been wise to seek acceptance of this amendment. He has put forward his reasons very succinctly. I welcome the remarks of the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair) but I should like confirmation of some of the provisos he mentioned a few minutes ago when referring to the

Reserve Bank. As I understand it, they were designed to ensure that not only must the Corporation conform generally with Reserve Bank policy as well as with Commonwealth monetary policy, but more than that, it must be seen to set an example to competitors in the same field.

Even if it has to compete with merchant banks one must realise that the Corporation, although meant to be divorced from the Government, will be seen to be an agency of the Government, or at least of the Commonwealth. To that extent not only must it generally carry out its functions, but also it must be seen to give a lead. If restraint is being imposed on the economy at any time I think it should be clear that the Corporation will give a lead in its restraints. I hope that the Minister will confirm that that generally is what we have in mind and what he has in mind in accepting the amendment that is now before us.

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