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Wednesday, 16 March 1977

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I think that the honourable gentleman needs to see the result in terms of total numbers employed against the background of the Commonwealth's own policies and approach in this area to the Commonwealth Public Service, its own direct employees, and also against the background of the totality of its economic policies. The honourable gentleman has a very simple philosophy, namely, that if he spends more money he will provide more employment. Surely he should have learned the lesson from that a long while ago, because in the year 1974-75 when the then Labor Administration increased government spending by 46 per cent or 47 per cent unemployment increased by a figure very close to 200 000 in that one year.

Mr Hunt

Mr MALCOLM FRASER -For Labor I suppose it was a brilliant achievement. During the course of the last year we have taken a number of necessary steps to re-establish a firm basis and security within the Australian economy. We always said that it would take at least a full 3 years to undo the damage that had been done by our predecessors. We have no reason at all to change that judgment.

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