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Friday, 2 August 1946


Mr SPEAKER - The Minister is not required to reconcile anything. That part of the honorable gentleman's question raises debatable matter, but the rest of the question is in order.


Mr CALWELL - The information in the booklet was compiled by officers of. my department in October last. Check investigations made in Melbourne and Sydney yesterday show that many of the. items mentioned are still sold at prices ruling when the booklet was compiled.


Mr Holt - Where can I get a hat?


Mr CALWELL - There is no doubt that the whole position in regard to the booklet has been grossly misrepresented. If the honorable member for Fawkner and other people like him care to pay five guineas for a hat, it does not follow that the worker has to.

Mi-. WILLIAMS,- Will the Minister' for Immigration inform me whether the booklet Australia and Your Future stated that the wife and other members of the family of a basic-wage earner could be " -adequately clothed " for a specified weekly .allowance, as quoted by the honorable member for Darwin (Dame Enid Lyons) this week?


Mr CALWELL - The booklet did noi. contain that statement. After the honorable member for Darwin had asked her question, I referred again to the booklet and found that she had misquoted a passage. There was absolutely no reference in the booklet to " adequately clothing " any one. The word " adequate " was never used. This misquotation was naturally seized upon by the press in reporting the matter and in editorial comments. The reference to weekly and yearly amounts for clothing was meant merely as a statement of the- proportion for clothing which ;i man might have allocated for his wife's living on the basic wage, plus 15s. a week child endowment for the two children in the family. The phrase " adequately clothed " does not appear anywhere in the booklet, but accuracy or fact never appeals to certain members of the Liberal party or certain leader writers in newspaper offices.







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