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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
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Mr LYNCH - The honourable gentleman is again, as is his characteristic custom in this House, seeking to play a destructive game in relation to Australia's balance of payments position.


Mr Hayden - It would not be your incompetence contributing in any way, would it?


Mr LYNCH -The shrill parrot interjects again. He has a lot to answer for to the Australian people. I wish he would not get so nervous during Question Time. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has sought certain information. The statement in relation to our negotiations in the New York market was part of the original borrowing program announced by the Acting Treasurer during my absence overseas.

I say to the honourable gentleman in general terms about the balance of payments position that since the devaluation in 1976 the balance of payments position has, of course, strengthened. Export revenue in seasonally adjusted terms for the recent September quarter was 12 per cent higher than for the December quarter 1976. The value of imports has fallen by 7 per cent between the March and September quarters. The volume of imports is now almost certainly below the immediate pre-devaluation level. The honourable gentleman knows that the current account deficit fell appreciably in the September quarter. The Government's expanded overseas borrowing program has reinforced the capital account and now is encouraging a more favourable flow of private capital. The honourable gentleman would know that as at the end of October the reserves figure stood at the comfortable level of about $3 billion- slightly higher than a year ago. The external position is sound. I just ask the honourable gentleman to have a modicum of responsibility and to cease his persistent and destructive attacks on the exchange rate.







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