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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 2960


Mr ARMITAGE (CHIFLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister in his capacity of Acting Treasurer, whether in view of the current rash of takeover bids, such as Ampol Petroleum Ltd v. R. W. Miller (Holdings) Ltd, British Tobacco Co. (Aust.) Ltd v. Refresh Holdings Ltd and the anonymous, multi-million dollar bid for Travelodge Aust. Ltd, and reports that the finance for these bids is being derived from the conventional banking system with its swollen liquidity, as in the cases of Ampol and British Tobacco, and from overseas sources, he is prepared-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman's preface is too long. He has not attempted to ask a question of any sort yet and 1 suggest he should finish his preface and ask the question.


Mr ARMITAGE - This is the question.


Mr SPEAKER -I suggest the honourable member should ask it.


Mr ARMITAGE - Is the right honourable gentleman prepared to ensure, firstly, that the powers conferred on the Reserve Bank of Australia by the Banking Act are utilised by the issue of an instruction to banks that they shall not provide overdraft funds for takeover bids and secondly that the Reserve Bank in terms of its existing powers will refuse to approve the registration of scrip in the names of overseas parties in respect of such takeover bids.


Mr McMAHON - Today the AttorneyGeneral will be making a statement in the form of a White Paper to the Senate setting out the Government's policy relative to monopolies and takeovers. At the same time, or at about that time, the Leader of the House will, I understand, be presenting the paper to the House. It can then be noted, if that is the wish of the Opposition, and an opportunity will be given for a full debate on it. I think the House can take this as the attitude of the Government. The Government believes that the proper course to follow in a matter which is so important as this and which can have an impact, not only upon this country but also upon the social approaches that are taken to these problems and on the shareholders, is to have a full and free debate in this House. I hope that we will be able to make time available so that a debate can take place.







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