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Friday, 21 October 1949

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member for Indi has asked a question. He must cease to interrupt.

Mr McEwen - The Deputy Prime Minister interrupted.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The Chair desires to intervene at this juncture. The honorable member for Indi shows very bad manners in this House. He asks a question, and tries to answer it. He is not satisfied with the reply that is being given by the Prime Minister.

Mr McEwen - He was interrupted by the Attorney-General.

Dr Evatt - The honorable member for Indi interrupted first.

Mr McEwen - The Attorney-General is very rude.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! If the honorable member for Indi interrupts again, I shall name him.

Mr CHIFLEY - Earlier, the honorable member for Indi interjected, and said, "Just paper". His own cheque is just paper.

Mr Fadden - But the honorable member has resources with which to back his cheque.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The warning that I gave to the honorable member for Indi applies also to the Leader of the Australian Country party.

Mr CHIFLEY - The non-interest bearing and non-negotiable securities are backed by the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Government. It is considered in nome quarters that the Australian currency has been overdevalued, and should he appreciated. If the honorable member for Indi holds that view, I shall be glad if he will advo cate it to the primary producing section of the community during the forthcoming election campaign.

Mr McEwen - The Prime Minister cannot twist my words that way.


Mr CHIFLEY - The honorable member has asked a question, and I shall be glad if he will listen to the answer. If he does not want an answer, he should not have asked the question. The lodging of larger sums in Australian currency does not impose on the Australian Government any additional financial hurden. The honorable gentleman referred to the repayment of purchases. It is a purchase, not a borrowing. We purchase dollars with Australian currency, and in the event of repayment, the same set of circumstances apply. Therefore, the devaluation of the currency does not in any way affect the position, except that it does affect the total amount to be lodged, and it could, if the £1 is appreciated, cause a variation of the figures and the amount of money to be supplied. However, the Australian Government is not involved, except to the extent of a very nominal amount, in any additional expense.

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