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Thursday, 5 April 1973
Page: 1124


Mr WHAN (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Treasurer. During his recent visit to the United States, did any American officials express views on the Australian action in regard to currency exchange rates? If so, what position did they adopt? Would it be true to say that the Australian action complements that taken by the United States authorities?


Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - I did hear expressions of approval of the action taken by Australia on 23rd December. There was also approval of our sticking to our decision when the American dollar was devalued.


Mr Nixon - I bet they loved it.


Mr Anthony - More exports to Australia.


Mr CREAN - I must say that I find it rather astonishing that honourable members opposite apparently defend the proposition that Australia's currency should be devalued rather than revalued. If one makes a comparison between the movement of the Australian dollar from the time of the Smithsonian agreement until the present time and that of every currency except the United States dollar, one finds that we have reached the same point as nearly all the other substantial currencies with which we like ours to be compared. I would have thought that people should take a little pride in the integrity of their currency. But there seems to be a suggestion in some quarters that it would have been better had our currency been devalued. I simply make the proposition that what has happened to the Australian dollar since 23rd December shows very clearly that where we sold our products in terms of the American dollar we sold them cheap and where others accumulated assets in Australia in terms of the American dollar they bought them cheap. If there is defence of buying and selling cheap, those who want to defend it are welcome to that defence.







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