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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr UREN (Reid) .- I support the amendment moved by the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward). The amendment is quite specific. The Australian Country Party professes to give great support to the Commonwealth Bank, but we were shown how much its support is worth when the banking legislation was recently before the Parliament. Under pressure from Liberal backbenchers, particularly the honorable member for Mitchell (Mr. Wheeler), the legislation was amended to allow the private banking interests to be agents for the new Commonwealth Development Bank. We know that for years the former leader of the Australian Country Party, Sir Arthur Fadden, opposed any move to break down the conditions of the Commonwealth Bank. If the Australian Country Party is consistent, it will on this occasion support the amendment.

Honorable members opposite say that the board now banks with the Commonwealth Bank. But we want to introduce a binding provision so that a change cannot be made. We do not want a repetition of the move led by the honorable member for Mitchell to give the private banks an advantage. This Government has been breaking down the conditions under which the Commonwealth Bank operates, splitting it and dividing it. We know that the Commonwealth Bank stood by the farmers during the depression years. The honorable member for Maranoa (Mr. Brimblecombe) should be on his feet supporting the amendment. It does not matter what we do. The honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull) is a big bag of wind; he gets up and belts-

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! I ask the honorable member to withdraw that expression. It is unparliamentary language.

Mr UREN - I withdraw. Members of the Australian Country Party owe much to the Commonwealth Bank, and they should support the Opposition's amendment. The amendment states a correct principle. We do not want a repetition of what happened with the banking legislation, so that a change could be made to private banking. If the statement that the board now banks with the Commonwealth Bank is correct, provision for this to be done could well be made in the bill. It is necessary to have such a provision in the bill; if it is not there, then, when the Parliament is in recess and everything is nice and quiet, they can slip in and do business with the private banks. If members of the Australian Country Party are consistent, they will support the amendment moved by the Opposition.

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