Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

of an excellent piece of statistical analysis. But it scarcely 
affects the main question as to whether the productiveness of 
the public debt justifies continued borrowing abroad, or, in 
fact, whether it ever has justified that policy. For it is difficult 
to concede that the expenditure of external loans would either 
be as carefully administered or as fruitful as the expenditure of 
a similar amount of domestic savings by means of internal 
loans. Nor can it be said that the lengthy array of government 
deficits and private insolvencies in recent years affords empirical 
support to his argument. 
Impartial consideration of the statistics of the position, 
indeed, scarcely justifies the complacency with which Dyason 
regards the national position.! Neither his own analysis nor the 
facts of recent experience in the economic life of Australia would 
seem to support his statement that ‘the nation has now fully 
recovered from the losses inflicted by the war’. Still less can 
his dictum be accepted that ‘the burden of indebtedness does 
not begin to approach the danger-point either to debtor or 
creditor’. If the point he has in mind marks the arrival of 
national insolvency he is undoubtedly right. If, however, he 
refers to the point where diminishing returns begin to operate, 
that point is not being approached, it is already far behind. 
Uneasiness concerning this aspect is, in fact, indicated by his 
admission that ‘the figures of national income per head over the 
past sixteen years, when reduced to pre-war values, are not so 
encouraging as to make it certain that large expenditure of loan 
moneys on development has produced corresponding benefits 
in production’. 
* For a careful analysis of the productive capacity of the Australian public debt 
see the less sanguine statistical summary by Sir Lennon Raws, ‘ Australian Loan 
Expenditure’, Economic Record, Nov. 1928. 
The permanent equipment upon which loan money has been expended in the 
Commonwealth is indicated by the following table: 
Summary of Loan Expenditure in Australia. 
Railways and Tramways . 
[rrigation and Water-works 
Advances to Settlers 
Harbours and Rivers 
Industries and Mines 
Closer Settlement 
Roads and Bridges . 
€ m. 
Public Buildings 
Posts and Telegraphs 
Costs of Raising Loans 
Electric Supply . . 
Advances for Houses . 
[mmigration . 

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.