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Friday, 7 May 1915

Mr HUGHES - Yesterday I communicated with the Prime Minister on the subject, and have now before me the original memorandum of agreement which was entered into on the 5th November, 1914, between the Prime Minister on behalf of the Commonwealth, and the Premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania on behalf of their respective States. By that instrument the Commonweatlh agreed to lend to the States a sum aggregating £18,000,000, and the States engaged not to borrow otherwise during a period of twelve months from the date of the agreement except for renewals of existing loans falling due. It was arranged, however, that the States might sell Treasury bonds over the counter to an amount not exceeding the sales in a normal year. I cannot allow the document to go out of the possession of the Department, but any honorable member may have access to it.

Mr Joseph Cook - Is the document signed ?

Mr HUGHES - Certainly; by Andrew Fisher, W. A. Holman, Alexander Peacock, Henry Peake, J. Scaddan, and J. Owen.

Mr Joseph Cook - Evidently it is only a " scrap of paper." Will the AttorneyGeneral have that document printed ?

Mr HUGHES - I shall communicate with the Prime Minister, and subject to his approval I shall have the document printed, if the right honorable member wishes that to be done.

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