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Wednesday, 15 March 1961

Mr WARD (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I desire to learn from the Treasurer whether it is a fact that the Government's programe to deal with the economic muddle of its own creation is slowing down the rate of national development. Is it a fact that the present intake of migrants, added to our natural increase in population, requires the continuance of a policy of expanding production if a lowering in Australian living standards is to be avoided? Has the Government announced its intention to adhere to its present plan to provide for an .intake each year of at least 115,000 migrants? Is it a fact that the Government has deliberately set about reducing the cost structure in Australia by a general reduction of the workers' living standards and is now creating a man-made depression as the weapon by which it will accomplish its purpose? If the Treasurer is not prepared to admit that this is the aim of the Government, will he explain how the Government proposes to follow a plan to slow down national development, with consequent unemployment, and at the same time absorb 115,000 migrants each year without reducing the living standards of Australian workers?

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