Full text: Borrowing and business in Australia

Revising the estimates for the pre-war period in accordance 
with the difference in money values it is estimated (i) that the 
disbursements of travellers from abroad while in Australia now 
average £150 for first-class passengers, and £80 for all other 
classes; and (ii) that the average expenditure by Australians 
abroad amounts to £300 for first-class passengers, and £150 for 
all other classes, inclusive of the cost of transport. In making 
this estimate, and in computing the higher charges for steamer 
and railway travel, hotel accommodation, and the different 
services that are in demand by tourists, every opportunity has 
been taken for consulting bank officials, responsible officers in 
steamship companies, hotel managers, and others. From every 
point of view the present estimate of the cost to Australia of 
such services, amounting to less than £10 millions per year, will 
not appear surprisingly high ; and the estimate was confirmed by 
the slightly higher computation made independently by the 
officials of Australia House. 
One further note should be made concerning the somewhat 
high figures for 1920 and 1921. During these years the rate of 
travel from Australia was, for several reasons, abnormally high. 
[t represents, to some extent, a reaction from the restrictions on 
travel during the war; but, in addition, very many people were 
anxious to visit Europe for a variety of motives that need not be 
discussed here. Further, the high prices and high profits of the 
post-war boom were not without their effect in placing the means 
for travel at the disposal of many business people. In the light of 
all the circumstances the high figures at the end of the period are 
more difficult of explanation. (See Tables XLVI, XLVIL.) 
ITT. Capital Investments and Interest Payments. 
In the years since 1920 a great deal of attention has been 
given to the financial circumstances of the Commonwealth ; and 
the British investment market, in particular, has adopted a 
very critical attitude towards any enlargement of borrowing 
programmes. The chief benefit arising from this more careful 
scrutiny of loan projects for the investigator has lain in the more 
careful compilation and comparison of statistics of capital in- 
vestment ; and, at any rate for the three main groups of public 
loans, the true facts of the case are more easily obtainable. As 
a consequence of the more careful regard for the disposition of

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