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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - Notwithstanding what has been said of

Mr. Bruceby some of his admirers in this chamber, the fact remains that the financial difficulties of later government's were due to the heavy borrowing and lavish expenditure of the Bruce-Page Administration. As to Senator Hardys remarks concerning the success of Mr. Bruce's loan conversion operations, we cannot overlook the fact that the Commonwealth is paying interest at 3f per cent, on some of its loans, when a few days ago, a loan of £100,000,000 was floated in Great Britain at 2f per cent.

Senator Hardy - For what period?

Senator BROWN - It was for 40 years, and it cannot, therefore, be regarded as a short term loan. I agree with the Leader of the Opposition, that Australia is regarded by many financiers as a good milch cow, and has been milked very energetically by certain investors in the Old 'Country, who make a continual drain on the Commonwealth to the extent of millions of pounds a year.

Senator Hardy - A Labour Government in Queensland borrowed money overseas at 7 per cent, which is the highest rate of interest ever paid, by an Australian governmnent.

Senator BROWN - That was due entirely to the activities of a "stinking fish " party which sent its representatives to Great Britain to decry the State in which they made their money. They told the British financiers not to loan money to the Queensland Government, merely because it was endeavouring to check the activities of the land sharks in that State. When money could not be raised in Great Britain, the Queensland Government had to go to the United States of America and pay a much higher rate than would otherwise have been paid. These exploiters do not care a damn what happens so long as they benefit.

Senator Herbert Hays - Why did not the Queensland Government raise a loan in Australia?

Senator BROWN - Because the BrucePage Government had borrowed so heavily and spent so extravagantly that Australian credit was destroyed. That was the position which the Scullin Government had to face. There are many matters which I could discuss at this juncture, but I suppose that I would be prevented by the Chair from doing so. I intend to submit a proposal, but I suppose that I am the only one who will regard it as reasonable. I am like the lunatic who said that he liked talking to himself because he was sure to agree with what was said.

Senator Sir George Pearce - Why not discuss the bill.

Senator BROWN - I shall please myself what I do. The Minister who is always telling others what they should do is not the boss in this chamber. I tell the Minister quite frankly that, subject to the Chair, I shall do as I please.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Sampson) Order !

Senator BROWN - I resent the remark of the Minister who thinks that he is the Hitler of the Senate.

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