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Tuesday, 18 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - It is a fact that registrations of new cars in March represented an increase of 40 per cent, on the February figures, but of course it would be misleading to argue from the figures of any particular month. For example, to accept the March figures as a monthly average would give a total for a year of 280,000 registrations, which figure has been surpassed only once in the history of this country, and that was last year. Undoubtedly the higher figures in March owed something to the fact that there had been a bank-up of people who had not bought cars, in the reasonable expectation that once the Government's measures had produced sufficient effect on the car industry the sales tax would be removed. When the sales tax was removed they proceeded to purchase their cars.

I think the honorable gentleman's deduction from these facts is correct, and when he talks about confounding the critics, I am always happy to join with him in confounding the critics of this Government.

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