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Wednesday, 19 April 1972
Page: 1274

Senator BROWN asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Is the Prime Minister aware of a document prepared by a Mr Marc Acheson, who was a top executive with a merchant bank, which disclosed that the assets of overseas banks represented in Australia totalled more than $500,000 million, which he states to be 80 times the size of the total assets of the Australian banking system and about5 times the cumulative Australian gross national expenditure over the past 4 years.

(2)   Will the Prime Minister, as a matter of urgency, take steps to ascertain the accuracy of Mr Acheson's report and inform the Parliament of his findings.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes. Mr Acheson's report was published in the 'Australian Financial Review' in three instalments over the period 28th July to 30th July 1971. It was subsequently updated as a special supplement to the January 1972 issue of Euromoney' a United Kingdom based financial magazine.

(2)   I am advised by the Treasurer that the broad comparisons drawn by Mr Acheson between the global assets of foreign banking institutions represented in Australia and selected aggregates in Australia are substantially accurate in arithmetical terms if the 'Australian banking system' is defined to exclude savings and development banks. Mr Acheson stated in his report that such comparisons were 'of academic interest only'.

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