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Tuesday, 30 September 1958

Mr Costa (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) a asked the acting Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   What is the total amount of profit made by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia from its inception to the 30th June, 1958?

2.   What amount of the profit was distributed to (a) Consolidated Revenue, (b) the National Debt Sinking Fund, (c) the Rural Credits Development Fund and (d) the Commonwealth Bank Reserve Fund?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The total amount of profit made by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Trading Bank of Australia and the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia from inception of the various banks to 30th June, 1958, as published in the banks' annual reports, amounted to £209,272,677. This figure includes profit of £107,569,471 made by the Note Issue Department of the Commonwealth Bank.

2.   The profit was distributed as follows: -


Commonwealth Trading Bank.

Mr Menzies s. - On 27th August, the honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) asked the Treasurer the following question, without notice: -

Will the right honorable gentleman consider sending representatives of the Commonwealth Trading Bank to England to study the credit system that I understand has been instituted by the Midlands Bank as a check on interest rates charged by hire-purchase companies? Does the Treasurer consider that such a visit would be more advantageous than the recent visit by Commonwealth Trading Bank representatives to Peking? Does the Treasurer know that the Peking visit was interpreted in South-East Asia as a Government sponsored visit and as an indication of Government policy?

In his reply the Treasurer undertook to see what further information he could give to the honorable member. The right honorable gentleman now provides the following information: -

The Commonwealth Trading Bank has now advised me that it does not consider any good purpose would be served by sending representatives of the bank to London to study the lending procedures and policies of the British banks. With regard to China, I am informed that a number of Australian banks have had representatives in that country in recent months. The visit of Commonwealth Trading Bank representatives to China was made in the course of a visit to a number of other countries in South-East Asia. I understand that the visit was made in the ordinary course of the bank's overseas commercial business.

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