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Wednesday, 22 April 1931

Senator BARNES (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) 110.6]. - I regret as much as any honorable senators the happening in New South Vales, to which reference was made thiB afternoon in another place. I suggest, however, that this Government is not responsible for the present financial situation. I have no desire to minimize the seriousness of what has happened, and I can assure the Senate that the Government will strain every nerve and make every effort to keep it within bounds. Much has been said in the course of the debate this afternoon and this evening a.bout the unfortunate position in which this country finds itself to-day. Honorable senators opposite blame this Government. They forget that for fifteen years prior to the advent of the present Ministry another party had Australia by the throat. The previous administrations spent millions upon millions of pounds. It piled up Commonwealth debts overseas to such an. extent that eventually our credit was destroyed, and during its last year of office the Bruce-Page Government was unable to raise two loans on the London market. This Ministry came into power at a most unfortunate time. It was obliged to carry the burdens bequeathed to it by the previous Government - which included some honorable gentlemen opposite who are now presuming to advise us as to what should be done in the interests of the people.

Senator Foll - The Prime Minister has said that he could have obtained all the money he required when in London had not certain resolutions been carried by the Federal Labour caucus.

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