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Tuesday, 26 February 1980
Page: 337

Mr HUMPHREYS (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I direct my question to the Treasurer. I ask him whether he stated on 1 1 February 1980:

I Ve acquired over the last couple of years, I think, a reasonable working knowledge of economics. But I don't claim to be an expert on it.

Does that explain why it is possible to borrow from some trading banks on overdraft at 10 per cent and invest those funds with absolute security in government bonds at 1 1 .2 per cent?

Mr HOWARD - The answer to the first part of the question is yes, both as to the statement I made and as to the self-evident truth of it. At least I trust that I display slightly more originality in my statements than does the Leader of the Opposition, who has to borrow from deceased members of the House of Commons for his remarks. As to the second part of the question -

Opposition members interjecting--

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. I call on honourable members on my left to maintain silence while the answer is being given. The level of interjection is not within the dignity of the House. I ask all honourable members to conform with the dignity of the House. I ask the honourable member for Lalor, who has been here but a short time, not to interject while I am speaking; or I will deal with him under the Standing Orders.

Mr HOWARD - As to the general question of interest rates, both official and otherwise, it goes without saying that the Government has kept developments in the bond market in this area under very close review and will continue to do so.

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