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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator BADMAN (South Australia) . - I think the Government has done a generous act in providing this amount for the unemployed. It is interesting to review the unemployment figures prevailing at different times during the regime of the Lyons Government. In 1932, when it first occupied the Treasury bench, it found 30 per cent, of the registered trade unionists of Australia unemployed. The day before yesterday I inquired of the Prime Minister's Department for the latest figures, because statements have been made recently that much unemployment still exists, and that the amount provided by this bill is far from sufficient, amounting probably to less than £1 a head. Those assertions are not supported by the facts. I find that in September, 1935, only 15 per cent, of the registered trade unionists of Australia were unemployed, whilst at the end of the September quarter of this year the percentage had fallen to twelve. These figures show a great decline of unemployment. Evidently the rising tide of prosperity is bearing us back to the conditions of 1928, in which year the percentage of such unemployment was only 9.3. I consider that the Government has done quite a good deed on this occasion. By means of its administration it has done much towards the restoration of that confidence which is so necessary in order to create full employment in the community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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