CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - THE COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA.

To ask the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was established by Act of the Australian Parliament in 1911 as a State Banking Institution, and if it is correct to say that while the authorised capital of this Bank is £10,000,000 it has not been found necessary to call up any capital whatever, though at the end of December, 1921, the accumulated profits stood at £3,792,000; and if he will cause enquiries to be made from the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia respecting this Bank and its work in financing both State, Municipal, and other public works, also private Industry and Commerce, with a view to the possible organisation by the Government of Saorstát Eireann of a similar Banking Institution.

I am aware of the fact that there is such a State Bank, but I have not been able to get particulars about it. I had some communication upon the subject some time ago, but just at the moment I would not be able to give an undertaking to get particulars in such a way as we might put them into practice. I think, with all the other business we have on hand, it would not be advisable to do so just now, and it will be quite understood that a departure such as this is, in the circumstances of the times here, would not be wise.

Would there be any difficulty in obtaining particulars?

No, I will endeavour to get the particulars as soon as possible. In fact, I have had correspondence on that point some time ago, but could not discover it.

Will the President circulate them when he gets them?