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Wednesday, 19 April 1972
Page: 1252

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) (AttorneyGeneral) - in reply - I thank Senator Wilkinson and Senator Little for indicating the support of their respective parties for the Bill. They have made clear, as I think is abundantly clear from what is involved in the Bill, that they have no wish to prevent the passage of the Bill. I do not want to appear ungracious, but in response to what Senator Little had to say I do say that there is a difference of opinion among economists as to the value of interest rate increases in times of inflation. I would not like it to be thought that the Government is not without considerable economic advice from Treasury officials and Reserve Bank officials who in the business world have a standing and a reputation which must be respected. The advice whichthey give government and upon which government acts is something which a government, if it ignored the advice, would ignore at its peril.

Traditionally it has always been recognised in times of inflation that if the cost of obtaining money is increased it limits the amount of money in circulation. Whilst it may be in recent times that that traditional view has been subject 10 some questioning, it is not to say that those who question must be right. The real problem is that government carries the responsibility; it does the very best it can. I think the true measure of a government is that when it sees that possibly a line of policy it has been pursuing requires rectification, it is prepared to undertake that rectification. I think the recent measures announced by the Government, of which this measure before the Senate is one, are an indication of the way in which the Government approaches this matter.I thank the Senate for its ready acceptance of the measure.

Question resolved intheaffirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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