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Thursday, 2 December 1976

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) -My question is directed to the Treasurer. It concerns economic policy, with special reference to the Treasurer's reendorsement of his policies on money supply as set out at page 37 of his Budget Speech. Has the Treasurer given consideration to the possibility that in formulating his policy he may have paid too much attention to the Procrustes principle? Does he recall that Procrustes was an amiable Greek who had a somewhat arbitrary iron bed. When travellers were tall like, for example, the Prime Minister- he would cut off their feet to make them fit the bed. If they were somewhat on the short side- like, for example, the honourable member for Shortland- he would stretch their necks until they fitted the bed exactly. Would the Treasurer be inclined to modify his present policy which endeavours to fit the Australian economy to an arbitrary money supply and instead see whether he might not do better to try to fit the money supply to the Australian economy?

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