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Thursday, 17 November 1927

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I should not have risen but for the fact that Senator Lynch questioned the accuracy of an interjection which I made while he was speaking. He stated positively that all trading banks, including the Commonwealth Bank, were prepared to advance money to assist the mining industry;. I say definitely that no bank will risk its funds in such ventures unless it also has additional security in the way of personal guarantees. Senator Lynch knows as well as any other honorable senator that if a mine fails, its assets-, in the form of machinery, which might have cost £500,000, in some circumstances may not realize more than about, one-tenth of the original cost. I am surprised that the honorable senator should seriously suggest that the savings of the people should be made available for investments of that nature. I do not wish to say anything in opposition to reasonable proposal to encourage the gold mining industry. I sincerely hope that it will have every encouragement, but on the right lines. If, as the honorable senator has stated, existing financial institutions, including the Commonwealth Bank, are prepared to assist the industry, why has he submitted this amendment, the object of which is to make available the funds of the savings bank?

Senator Lynch - Because this bill takes over. £40,000,000 away from the control of the, trading section of the Commonwealth Bank.

Senator PAYNE - It is essential that 40 per cent. of the funds of the bank should be reserved for the exclusive use of the savings bank branch. In making advances for the encouragement of mining the Commonwealth Bank does not encroach upon the savings bank funds. These advances are, I believe, obtained from the trading section of the bank.

Senator Lynch - Apparently the honorable senator has not had much experience in this branch of the business.

Senator PAYNE - I have had as much experience as the honorable senator, and can display as much commonsense as he can on questions of this kind. We are here primarily to see that the people receive the protection to which they are entitled, and I shall never assist in the direction of the people's savings being utilized in the manner proposed in the amendment.

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