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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 280

Senator WILKINSON (Western Australia) - I would like some information from the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton). I am not offering any criticism of the Bill but this matter has been brought to my attention upon reading clause 4 of the Bill which states:

The Treasurer may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, an agreement or agreements with the Bank providing for the purchase by Australia of Two thousand five hundred and fifty paid-in shares, and Ten thousand two hundred callable shares, of the capital stock. . . .

The question I am interested in relates not to what was said in the second reading speech but in some general observations made during the debate. It was mentioned that the various contributors to the Asian Development Bank would be asked to increase their contributions by a further 150 per cent. That roughly is about what Australia proposes to do. Perhaps the Minister for Civil Aviation could tell me whether we are taking up all the shares that have been offered to us. Has he any information about whether this is being done by the other signatories? I noticed that one of the conditions under which this amount will be made available to the Bank is that 100,000 of the total of over 150,000 shares are taken up by the various contributing countries. Are we taking up our maximum? Can the Minister advise me whether other contributing countries also are accepting their obligations?

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