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The Budget

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Press Statement No/587y 3 November 1975 X_/


Mr Fraser can muster the votes of half the Senators to delay a vote on the Budget. By various stragagems he is trying to use this half of the Senate to force an election for the House of Representatives.

The system of Government that Australia has enjoyed for 75 years would be destroyed if any Prime Minister, now or in the future, were to give in to the type of blackmail Mr Fraser continues to use.

The Senate has never rejected a Budget. Mr Fraser cannot muster the votes to reject the 1975 Budget. The Liberals are deferring a vote on the Budget because they are desperate.

The Opposition has been making hysterical accusations against the Government because it now realises that Public Servants will not be bankrupted by any Opposition refusal to pass the Budget. My Government would

not contemplate any raising, authorisation or expenditure of money which was not within the existing Australian Constitutional and legal framework.

My Government believes in Parliamentary democracy. It has kept the Parliament sitting through its normal recess because it asserts that the political problems of the day must be settled in the Parliament not by some backdoor deal.

The Australian Labor Party has a clear majority in the House of Representatives. While it retains that majority it remains the Government.

On the particular issue of the Budget, the Government in fact has the support of a majority of both Houses of Parliament. Only the creation of false numbers in the Senate through the death of a Labor Senator and the destruction of

conventions by two anti-Labor Premiers has enabled the Opposition to keep deferring a vote on the Budget.

I once again challenge Mr Fraser to free his Senators to vote on the substance of the Budget - that is to vote on whether they will pass or reject the two Appropriation Bills. It is intolerable that the present sham of deferring a decision

on these Bills should continue. The Australian people have a right to know whether the Senate accepts or rejects this Budget and the economic strategy it contains.