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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The House will come to order.

Mr LYNCH -In short, what I was emphasising was that as a direct consequence of Labor Party mismanagement Australian industry was becoming less and less competitive. Quite apart from the underlying factor to which I have made reference, the speculation to which certain members of the Opposition made a very heavy contribution made that process inevitable during the final period before the actual decision was taken.

I have seen references to comments, unsourced and unnamed, in respect of overseas reporting. I have already said to the honourable member for Adelaide that the executive board meeting of the International Monetary Fund held on 3 December reported that it appreciates the reasons behind the decision to devalue. All directors who spoke at that meeting supported Australia's decision to devalue. In addition, several directors at that meeting welcomed the greater flexibility that would be permitted under the new exchange arrangements. If any regard is to be had for opinions abroad on this Government's decision to devalue, one cannot go past the opinion of the International Monetary Fund.

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