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Wednesday, 16 February 1977

Mr MORRIS (Shortland) - I think all honourable members in this House would join with the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck) in the sentiments that he has expressed about young people in need. It is unfortunate that his colleagues in this place do not hold that same view. I hope that they will revise their outlook. I remind honourable members opposite of their great leader's famous statement that life is not meant to be easy. I hope that when the honourable member for Franklin returns to his electorate he wil say: 'I am sorry, boys. I want to help you but my leader says that life is not meant to be easy. I am sorry'.

Earlier this evening we heard a bleating contribution from the honourable member for Barton (Mr Bradfield) who complained that bank managers are not telling the truth. Towards the end of last year the statisticians who were preparing the figures for the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations could not produce the correct seasonally adjusted unemployment figures in Australia. Therefore, the Government decided to discontiue producing seasonally adjusted unemployment figures. As far as the Government was concerned, it was the Department's fault; the figures could not be relied upon. Now the consumer price index figures for December cannot be relied upon, because they wil not produce the kind of result that this Government wants to hear. Therefore, the basket of goods has to be changed. The Department now has to try to cook a set of figures which Will bring about the results that the Government wants to hear. We now have a back bencher from a marginal seat coming forward and saying: 'It is these terrible bank managers. They have not got sufficient backbone to tell the public what the Government is really saying'. If what the honourable member for Barton has said is accurate, it means that the new lending rate in his electorate has been cut by only 8 per cent. I should Uke to inform him that in my electorate bank managers have been instructed to reduce new lending by 50 per cent. That is the instruction which has gone out to bank managers. The bank managers themselves are very worried about small businesses. They predict a crunch on small businesses in the coming quarter. Surely there is no way this Government, with its iron clad policies, can off-load the blame on to the local bank managers. For heaven's sake! After all, the Bank of New South Wales is a major contributor to the making of the policy of the Government parties. It is a major contributor to their funds. Surely honourable members opposite should have the decency to stand up in this place and accept the responsibility for their policies. They should not try to off-load the blame on to the bank managers.

We have heard much about inflation and devaluation from honourable members opposite. In the last couple of days we have heard the Treasurer (Mr Lynch) defending devaluation. I want to draw the attention of honourable members opposite to a statement attributed to the Deputy Leader of the National Country Party (Mr Sinclair) in the Land on 14 October, only 45 days before devaluation. The article stated:

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