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Tuesday, 8 March 1904


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Prime Minister can make any distinction he chooses between zero and the inability of the Commonwealth to obtain money at any price.


Mr Deakin - The Commonwealth could get the money, but it could not satisfactorily borrow for the redemption of States loans whilst these loans remain under present conditions.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not the statement which is contained in the paper to which I referred. The Federal Treasurer distinctly affirmed that he could not go upon the London market this year.


Mr Deakin - Because he could get no conditions in regard to future States loans at the present time. He stated that in the same document.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No, he simply said 'that he had received advices from those who were best able to judge of the position, to the effect that it would be exceedingly inadvisable for the Commonwealth 10 go upon the London market at the present time.


Mr Deakin - That was because we were not in a position to approach' the London money market with any conditions as to future States loans.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Prime Minister makes that statement, but it is not to be found in the paper to which I refer.


Mr Deakin - The honorable member will find it in one of the papers prior to that.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It comes to this, that before we can do anything with regard to State indebtedness we must resurrect the credit .of the Commonwealth financially at any rate.


Mr Deakin - No; the Commonwealth could borrow well if it were borrowing for its own purposes.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - At what rate?


Mr Deakin - At the lowest rate.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am sure that we could borrow, but.it would be at. pawn- broking rates. What a confession .that is to make.


Mr Glynn - The same conditions applied in the case of Canada. Until she proved her title to obtain better terms she could not get them.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is no analogy between Canada and Australia, nor between their conditions.


Mr McCay - If there is no analogy between the two countries, why did the honorable member find an analogy in their conditions with regard to preferential trade-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Because I sought to make a contrast in relation to a matter which is as different from this as daylight is from dark. I contend that the position is that the Commonwealth Government have yet to resurrect their own credit before they can do anything for the States.


Mr Glynn - Not resurrect, but establish it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I apprehend that, if we had desired to float a loan upon the establishment of the Commonwealth, we could have done so on conditions very different from those- which would now be required.


Mr Deakin - No.


Mr Webster - Does- the fault lie with the Commonwealth ?







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