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Tuesday, 10 December 1912


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - Senator Millen did not supply the missing figures which he said were necessary to complete the statement relating to the moneys which have been borrowed by the Labour Government.


Senator McColl - The Chairman would not permit him to do so.


Senator PEARCE - I propose to readthe letter which the Government Statistician sent to me when he forwarded the figures which I have communicated to the Senate.


Senator Clemons - Have you your letter to the Government Statistician ?


Senator PEARCE - I did not write to the Government Statistician, but I referred Senator Millen's statement to my secretary, and asked him to write to the Government Statistician, and request him to supply figures as to loan moneys during the last three years. Here is the letter received by my secretary - -

Melbourne, 9th December, 1912.

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 9th inst., I am sending you the information required by the Minister of Defence in the accompanying table. The figures have been taken from the last three annual Statements made by the respective State Treasurers, referring to loans floated in the financial years 1909-10; 1910-11, and 1911-12. In that period there have been three State Labour Governments in power in Australia; those of Messrs. McGowen (New South Wales, October, 1910 to present time) ; Verran (South Australia, April, 1910, to February, 1912) ; and Scaddan (Western Australia, November, 191 1, to present time). The loans in the remaining States have been contracted entirely by Liberal Governments.

Yours truly, (Signed) G. H. Knibbs, Commonwealth Statistician.

These are the figures supplied to me by the Government Statistician as to the loans effected by the respective State Governments. If the statement is misleading, I have been unintentionally the means of disseminating it. I do not admit that it is misleading. Senator Millen's statement refers specifically to the loans raised by Labour Governments, and he said that the Labour Governments had borrowed more money by way of loan than other Governments. I quoted his remarks, and I instructed my secretary to get from the Government Statistician the figures dealing with the matter. I think that when Senator Millen reads the proof of his remarks he will find that he referred specifically to that matter.







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