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[From Our PABLiAMENTAKr Reportee.]

WELLINGTON, October 23. .Something in the nature of a Financial statement in brief was made by the Min of Finance (Hon. J. Allen) in the • louse yesterday afternoon in regard 10 state advances. He saw his way to advise the board to increase the amount that might be lent for workers' homes .ad buildings under the State Advances 0 Settlers Department from £350 to £4OO. Je did not know but what later on he might be able to raise the maximum to £450. That had been done largely because of the fact that a great many carpenters were out of work, and becauce it was anticipated that the provision uf more money would result in providing more work for tradesmen. Sir Joseph Ward : What is the limit to settlers? Hon. J. Allen: ' ; £2,000, and we are lending up to £500." The grants to local authorities, he went on to say, were in a very dill'ereiit position. That was not a "paying branch of the Spate's activities. The return was only sufficient to pay interest and sinking fund. However, it had been represented" to him by the Minister of Public Works that provision had been made on the Estimates for the payment of grants to local authorities. -Many of them were £ for £ grants, and unless the local authority was able to obtain the money required it would not be able to take advantage of the subsidy. He therefore proposed to open the financial door of the local authorities to the amount of £I,OOO. (Hear, hears.) That would, he thought, enable all the local authorities to comply with the requirements in regard to loans. A little later on it might be possible to increase tho amount from £I,OOO, but until uk-> knew the result of the loan operations maturing in December he did not think it was desirable to open the door any wider. He was in constant communication with the High Commissioner as to the Joan maturing in December, and our own needs during the year. His own opinion was that it was wiser to spend .uoney on public works than on the subsidising of local bodies. If the Govern nient could later on make satisfactory arrangements about the December loan and cho Dominion's requirements for the year, they might open the door still wider. He was advised by the High Commissioner that it would not be possible to raise either a stock loan or a debenture loan in London All the Government would do was to provide for present requirements by the issue of Treasury bills. He had no doubt that the Government could provide for their requirements by the issue of Treasury bills, not only for the loan coming due in December" but also for the requirements of the Dominion for the year. •' 1 have no hesitation in saying," he added. " that our finance is very satisfactory at the present time. 1 hope the announcement will be satisfactory to the House and the country. Sir Joseph Ward said it would be of ■alue to the House and the country if .he Minister would say how much had been advanced to the workers for the period under review, and how much to settlers under the reduced limits, and without that information the Minister's statement was not of much use- As to the limit of £I,OOO for local bodies, it would not be of much use. Hon. J. Allen : Better something than nothing. Sir Joseph Ward said that the expenditure of public bodies was almost equal in importance to the Public Works expenditure. In some parts of the country it would, he added, be interesting to know how much had been advanced by the issv—■ of Treasury bills in London, and the rate of interest and the period for which they were issued. He presumed they were short-dated loans. The Hon. J. Allen said he was very pleased to give all the information in his possession. He had been asked what was the amount of advances to settlers and workers for September. The amount advanced to settlers was £108,960. Under the Public Debt Sinking Fund branch there was paid over to settlers £6,100; under the Advances Office Sinking Fund there was paid over £21,230. The commitments for September amounted to £38,165. Under the advances to workers account there was paid during December £30,135, and the amount authorised by the board for the month was £14,740. x\s to local authorities, the amount paid for September was £26,325, and the commitments for the month amounted to £4,500 so far The restriction in regard | to loans to local authorities (£1,000) would have to be retained, but he hoped to be able to increase the amount later on. As to the issue of Treasury bills in London, the only advances the Government had received from London amounted to £400,000, and that was for the War Fund Account. " The money has not been secured by the speculators," he added; " it has been advanced by the Bank oi England, and I am not at liberty to disclose the rate of interest at the present moment.'' Mr Myers: New South Wales said it was s{. The Minister: I am not going to disclose Mr Myers: Why not? The Minister: Because the Home authorities have asked me not to disclose it. 1 am perfectly willing to show the papers

to my predecessors in the Treasury if they will keep the communication secret. We have obtained this advance on exceptionally favorable terms. These advances have been arranged for xis by the Imperial authorities, and they have a currency of six months. They will be met by a loan from the Imperial authorities, which includes sufficient to pay off the advances made to us by the Bank of England. It is highly gratifying to me to be able to report to the House the very satisfactory arrangements that have been made. I do not think that any other Dominion has made l moro satisfactory arrangements. (Applause.)

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SATISFACTORY FINANCE, Issue 15631, 23 October 1914

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SATISFACTORY FINANCE Issue 15631, 23 October 1914

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