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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2211


Senator TOWNLEY (TASMANIA) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. In view of the deteriorating economic climate, with high inflation and the highest unemployment for more than 20 years, does the Prime Minister still intend to make his globe-trotting trip in the near future or does he intend to stay in Australia and attend to the problems of the nation? What will be the Prime Minister's itinerary if he does go overseas? How long will he be away? How many overseas trips has the Prime Minister made since assuming office?


The PRESIDENT - Senator Murphy,do you wish to answer that question?


Senator MURPHY -I will not go over the matters of inflation and the economic situation. I have indicated already that those problems are world wide. I think everybody in Australia accepts that there is world wide inflation. I think everybody should understand also that Australia is one of the greatest trading nations in the world. Certainly, when one compares our population with the populations of other trading nations, the trade that we have is an extremely important part of our economy. Our economic relations with other countries, not only the financial relations but the trading relations as well, are basic to our economy and prosperity. Obviously, if this nation is to maintain its prosperity and if the Government is to act properly on behalf of the people of Australia, it is necessary that Ministers and the Prime Minister regularly speak to those who are able to make decisions overseas. They must enter into trading arrangements and they must enter into financial arrangements. Obviously it is to the interests of Australia that those in charge of the Government of Australia do everything they can, in co-operation with those overseas, to see to it that we have mutually beneficial arrangements. I think that the honourable senator who asked the question would recognise on reflection that what the Ministers and the Prime Minister do when they go overseas advances the interests of Australia.







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