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Tuesday, 17 September 1974
Page: 1110

Senator WITHERS -My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I ask: In view of the fact that this nation is faced with a crisis of confidence because of the Government's inability to bring inflation under control and in view of its callousness in pursuing policies which are designed to cause unemployment, will the Government prepare a White Paper on what it considers to be the causes of inflation and how it proposes to combat the causes and alleviate the distress it creates? Will the Government, as part of this study, set out why it is necessary for the Government forcibly to increase the number of people who are now unemployed?

Senator MURPHY -I will pass on to the Treasurer the part of the question about the preparation of a White Paper, but I must say that I think that some of the questions will easily be answered. If we wanted to combat inflation the first step would be for the Leader of the Opposition and some of his Party either to resign or to cease obstructing the Government in its attempts.

Senator Withers -Which Bills? Name the Bills.

Senator MURPHY -The Leader of the Opposition asks me to name the Bills. Let me name one measure which stands out very clearly. The measure concerning trade practices and consumer protection was delayed by the tactics of those opposite for some 12 months. There is not one economist or one public spirited person who has not said that that measure was necessary in order to combat inflation. The rackets which have been going on in this community were allowed to go on and to fuel inflation because of the wilfulness of the Opposition members in this chamber. I would ask the honourable senator to co-operate with the Government instead of starting off the day with this kind of question which reveals the obstructionist attitude of the Opposition. The Government has been elected to carry out its policies. I ask those Opposition senators who have any regard for their fellow citizens and for the welfare of the community, to allow the Government to introduce and have passed the measures which we think are necessary to deal with inflation. If the Government is allowed to manage the economy and fails to manage it properly, the Opposition may then complain. But the Opposition has no right whatever to complain of the state of affairs in the community when it is refusing to allow the Government to pass measures which it deems necessary in order to deal with the economy.

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