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Tuesday, 9 November 1971
Page: 3128

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Acting Prime Minister received a letter from the Premier of New South Wales requesting a special Premiers Conference to discuss unemployment and inflation, as sought by a unanimous vote of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly last Thursday? If so, has the Government acceded to the Premier's request? If not, will the Government give earnest and urgent consideration to it, since it is impossible to implement any prices and incomes policy in Australia without the co-operation of the

States, whose fiscal policies can have a marked effect on prices, as the latest cost of living index has again shown, and whose constitutional powers to supervise prices are much greater than the Commonwealth's?

Mr ANTHONY - I have seen a report ot a statement by the Premier of New South Wales that he is going-

Mr James - Did you get a letter?

Mr ANTHONY - I read a report that he was going to write a letter to the Prime Minister asking for a Premiers Conference. I have not received the letter as yet. It may be with the Department, but I have not received it. In reading the report I note that the Premier was going to write to the Prime Minister, Mr McMahon, and that the matter no doubt would be considered by the Government on his return. When the letter is received in my Department it will be examined, but I would expect that no Government decision will be made until the Prime Minister returns.

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