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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD (Western Australia) . - I deplore the indecent haste with which the Government seeks to deal with this measure. The Senate has been given very short notice of this bill. No need exists for rushing it through, because the Treasury, I understand, is receiving a very steady flow of money from taxes, whilst it is not experiencing any difficulty in raising internal loans. The last Liberty Loan, for instance, was an outstanding success; and the current Liberty Loan is also proving successful. The explanation given by the Minister in charge of the bill (Senator Keane), that the Government requires this money in order to meet its commitments in respect of the requirements of allied troops in this country, does not convince me. Portion of those requirements has already been met by an inflation of the note issue. When the Government assumed office a few months ago, the note issue was approximately £72,000,000, whereas it now stands at £98,000,000, which represents an increase at the rate of approximately £3,250,000 a month. The Government is actually making a profit out of the requirements of allied troops in this country, because those troops are being paid in Australian currency, and the credit to meet that payment is an external credit under the lease-lend arrangement. Consequently, there is no need to rush this measure. I object to it.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill read a third time.

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