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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 1387

Mr ENGLAND (CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Trade and Industry aware that the Bank of New South Wales in its quarterly economic review has come out strongly against any revaluation of the Australian dollar? What reasons did the Bank give for this? Does this serve to prove that all qualified opinion, even amongst banking institutions, is not on one side of this argument, the resolution of which will have such far reaching effects on export industry?

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - I heard a radio report of the Bank of New South Wales quarterly report only this morning. In its report the Bank of New South Wales stated that it was against a revaluation of the currency because of the deleterious effects it would have on rural and mining industries. I think this typifies the attitude of any commercial body which has close contact with industry and knows the consequences of any revaluation of the currency. This Bank has enormous accounts in the rural areas and in the mining field. It knows the difficulties that people in these industries are undergoing and it knows just how disastrous revaluation would be at this particular time. Even though it is not terribly well qualified it has done very well in reaching this decision and it was reached because the Bank had its feet on the ground. I am interested to note that the

Australian Labor Party is now justifying its position on revaluation on the basis that it is better qualified intellectually to make a judgment. One of the interesting things shown in the history of the Labor Party is that whenever there have been currency alterations the Labor Party has always moved for depreciation. This has been its attitude at times when the Labor Party has had great leaders - I will give it credit for that - men who have come up through the ranks and who understand the problems of employment, industry and keeping the economy going. But now there is a new sort of Labor Party which seems to be controlled by the intellectuals. Anybody who has the audacity to have a counter point of view to theirs is ill-educated. It is nice that the Leader of the Opposition is a man of letters, and we know that he is a great scholar in the courts but, my word, that is small compensation for being a man amongst men.

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