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Tuesday, 23 September 1958

Mr MENZIES (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister) - The matter of Mount Isa involves two sets of financial considerations. One is the spending of money by the Mount Isa company itself on a development programme of enormous size and the other is the financing of a new railway at a total cost of the order of £30,000,000. The Commonwealth comes into this matter because we are competent to be a borrower from the world bank and, on behalf of the Australian Loan Council, a borrower overseas from other sources. Therefore, we have been extremely active in this matter. It is quite true that at various times in the last two months we have had discussions with the world bank, with the Mount Isa company and with the Queensland Government. About a week ago I, myself, had further discussions with the Queensland Government. There have been discussions on the official level since then, but the matter is not at a stage at which anybody can usefully say anything about it publicly.

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