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Thursday, 10 July 1930


Senator OGDEN (Tasmania) .- I have to confess that I know nothing about the intricate business of banking, so I do not intend to discuss this measure at great length. My present inclination is to support the second reading.


Senator Rae - But the honorable senator will delay the second-reading stage as long as possible.


Senator OGDEN - There is always suspicion in the mind of the honorable senator. I shall support the amendment because I desire the bill to be referred to some competent authority for examination. We do not know what authorities advised the Government in framing it. Certainly no member of the Ministry is an authority on central banking. I accept the general principle of the bill, but T am not satisfied that it ought to be passed in its present form. I do not altogether approve of the proposal to refer it to a select committee, because, as a rule, select committees occupy much time in an inquiry and in the end its members reach a partisan decision. I should prefer the bill to be referred to a competent authority on banking. It is an expert question, so I doubt that an inquiry by a select committee, comprising members of this chamber, will get all the information desired. Senator Thompson made what I regard as a good suggestion, namely, that the banking authorities who are on their way to Australia to confer with the Commonwealth Bank and the Government with regard to the present situation, be requested to study the bill and report upon it. If the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Daly) will give me an assurance that this course will be taken, I shall vote, against the amendment. Failing that, I shall be compelled to vote for the appointment of a select committee in the hope that that body will examine acknowledged authorities and that we shall have the benefit of their opinion. The Government should not take up a stand-and-deliver attitude. The bill is, as I have said, a most intricate one. I should prefer the inquiry to be conducted by a royal commission; but, failing that, and if the Minister will not assure honorable senators, that Sir Otto Niemeyer will be asked to examine the proposal, I shall vote for the amendment.







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