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ALP policies confused

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bth February 1975

(File 87/75)

The Leader ..of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator R.G.Withers, said today it was time the "real A.L.P. stood up".

" It is high time the Labor Part3^ untangled itself long enough to decide what its policies are and who it is going to blame as each one is abandoned," he said. . · v ■ ■ V '

. · I·

Senator Withers said there had been so many contradictory statements from the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and so many policy somer­ saults, with each statement and announcement being proclaimed as ■ ALP policy, that most Australians were t h o r o u g h ^ confused as to

exactly what ALP policy was and who were its exponents.

The nation's ills have variously been blamed on the Senate, by Mr Cameron, the s}>-stem, b3^ Dr Cairns, overseas importation, 1:ψ our overseas oriented Prime Minister, and on multi-nationals by those who couldn't think of airything more original," Senator Withers said.

" Last August Mr Cameron claimed that "the Senate was preventing the Government from doing what it ought to be doing".

" Yesterday the Prime Minister proclaimed that the Government would proceed with its programme regardless of its "opponents".

" Yesterday the Prime Minister told his S3mnpathetic audience at Terrigal that his Government was "not going into reverse; not abandoning the programme; not going back on the mandate".

" How then does he explain his Government's actions on the capital gains tax, protection for the motor industry, the superphosphate bounty and tax cuts ? . '

" If he has not reversed Government policy on these matters is he ■ using his announcement of the changes merely as a ruse to buy back the private sector which Dr Cairns is now courting ?

" Does he expect the private sector to be duped by these moves only to be double crossed again in six months time with the re-introduction of these policies ?" ·

Senator Withers said the Prime Minister's assertion that the parliamen­ tary system in Australia had been held to ransom was ridiculous.

" The Parliamentary system has not been held to ransom, it has merely been exercised as it should if a democracy is to succeed," he said.

" The nation’s difficulties do not stem from the Senate, the Opposition or the Parliamentary system, but from the incompetence of the Labor Government to govern. ' '

" The political g3mmastics of the last two years have been achieved by the Australian Labor Party and by that Party alon'e. " .