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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 2191

Mr WHITTORN (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) - I address a question to the Treasurer. With Australian reserves overseas at a record high level and because of a rash of takeovers within Australia and by overseas companies, will the Government revalue the Australian dollar or will we allow it to move freely to the limit to which it is entitled to move on the foreign exchange market?

Mr SNEDDEN - The Cabinet submitted the question of exchange rates to examination last December. This followed on the Smithsonian Institute's examination of the currencies of the Group of Ten when they made their own arrangement. It then followed for other countries to take their decisions, having regard to what happened at the Smithsonian Institute and also fundamentally acknowledging that the decisions as to the exchange rate is a matter for a country itself to determine. I will not go beyond that. I acknowledge that the reserves we have at present are very high, and the reasons for that would take some time for the telling. Question time is not appropriate for it. However, this other point must be made that any official, whether he be political or whether he be a member of the Public Service, who discusses the matter of the exchange rate is likely to find that the mere discussion of it creates speculation which would be counter-productive to the country's economy.

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