It still seems to me that we are asked to pass this bill with a scanty amount of information. In 1948, $45 million falls due and presumably will have to be refinanced. Although the parliamentary assistant has not said so, apparently $131 million in United States funds becomes callable in 1949. In other words, it becomes possible to call the bonds to the extent of $131 million. We are asked to pass this bill now authorizing the government to raise $200 million, the bulk of which will not be needed or it will not be possible to use it until 1949. The government may say, we are prepared or we desire to borrow in the money markets of the world in order to meet these obligations when they do fall due; or they may say, we wish to have this bill passed so that we may do this. The parliamentary assistant has not said that. But we have three possibilities: We can deplete our fast vanishing supply of hard currency in setting up a reserve for this $131 million; we can do it on the open market in New York and buy United States currency with Canadian dollars at a discount, or we can borrow United States dollars in order to refund this $131 million. If we take the latter course we presumably are expecting to get a lower rate of interest than this $131 million of capital is now costing us. Therefore I suggest that the parliamentary assistant should tell us what rate of interest we are paying on the $131 million and whether he expects to borrow in the New York market to refund these bonds. Does he expect to deplete our rapidly vanishing hard currency reserves, or does he propose to go out into the open market and purchase United States funds?
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR REFUNDING OF FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS