Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Government Policies cause Unemployment

Download PDFDownload PDF

747 ^



at his press conference

yesterday that his Government's policies were not responsible,

and would not be. responsible for unemployment.

. It became immediately apparent that the Minister for

Labour disagrees with Mr Whitiam, and that Clyde Cameron as

Minister for Labour, is taking out insurance to make sure that

he will not be blamed for unemployment, which is inevitably

going to bccur as a result of the mishandling of the Australian




The Prime Minister claimed

Mr Whitiam said that the dismissal of 1,000 people by

Leyland was due to Leyland'■s incompetence. Does he say that

reductions in overtime at General Motors and Ford, due to

substantial changes in the demand situation for their products,

is also a ■result of their incompetence and not of the Govern­

ment's policies? .

- ' Mr. Whitiam was being very much the politician. Because

he does not understand economics.he might believe that his

Government's policies can be pursued without unemployment, but

he can't lift interest rates to. the extraordinary level that now

prevails.,., he cannot put the knife, ΙρΛο the States, he cannot cut

road programmes, for every municipality throughout Australia, and

play around with business confidence in the way he has, without

putting jobs very much, at risk.

On present policies the Minister for Labour's earlier

predictions of 200,000 unemployed will certainly become a reality.

He is right to fight for his pwn brief. He is probably wrong to

argue publicly with his Prime Minister.

However, the Prime Minister is wrong on more counts,

than one. When unemployment was falling, hardcore unemployment

doubled. Mr Cameron's retraining scheme was designed to tackle

this problem.

Liberal Party employment and industrial relations

policies, for which I am responsible, place a heavy emphasis

on training and retraining, to avoid personal hardship and to

maintain personal standards of living..

It is curious that the Prime Minister has blocked

Mr Cameron1s plans.

The Government has now announced a plan for re- .

structuring industries hit by its policies, for buying out

firms who are sent broke. This is recognition that its

policies will send firms broke and will create unemployment,

that those are its objectives. If so, which firms, in what _

industries, and why? Is it because they are uneconomic or

not needed in Australia? Has any judgement been made, or is

the Government's proposal a nervous reaction to avoid some of

the political odium its policies will certainly attract? Is

this why the Prime Minister is now prepared to list the re­

training proposals for discussion by Cabinet? r, .

If there are areas in the economy which the Government

believes need phasing out, surely this should be after considered

analysis. The Government should clearly state its views and give

industry and unions a chance to state a counter case. ,

Restructuring and retraining proposals can be useful

10, 0 Is , but they will·:,no,t/"be useful if the„y are. blind, nervous . .

reactions to an impending situation, which the Government, fears

for political reasons. . . . .

The Government deserves no sympathy. It has created

the situation, and it will have to carry the consequences of it.

5 JULY 1974