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Friday, 21 October 1949

Mr McEWEN (INDI, VICTORIA) - Will the Prime Minister say whether it is correct that the payment that the Australian Government will have to deposit to the credit of the International Monetary Fund in respect of the 20,000,000 dollars advance from the fund that was announced yesterday will be approximately 30 per cent, greater than it would have 'been had the advance been negotiated before the Treasurer decided to devalue the Australian pound against the dollar? If this be correct, in view of the fact that the Treasurer revealed some weeks before devaluation occurred that he was contemplating seeking dollar accommodation, what was the reason -for delaying the transaction in such a way as to inflate the ultimate cost of the advance to the Australian Treasury? In the event of a movement of exchange rates to bring the Australian £1 closer to its old relationship with the dollar taking place before the advance is repaid, will the Australian Government incur a net loss on the transaction when repayment is effected?'

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