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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1293

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, refers to the public statement yesterday by the Prime Minister that some of his Labor colleagues were peddling lies in trying to persuade the Federal Government to increase tariffs in key industries, including the textile industry. Is the Minister aware that the Australian Textile Workers Union has stated that on 18 September of this year a total of 9,766 workers, representing 23.3 per cent of its total union membership, were unemployed? Those unemployed comprised 7,148 in Victoria, 1,312 in New South Wales, 1,006 in Tasmania, 240 in South Australia and 60 in Western Australia. Is the Minister further aware that the Australian Textiles Council has estimated that the total number of unemployed in the textile industry at the end of this month, including members of the apparel section of the Clothing and Allied Trades Union, will be 15,000? Does the Minister therefore share the view of the Prime Minister that those who are trying to save decent Australians from Laborcontrived unemployment are 'nervous Nellies'?

Senator MURPHY - I do not propose to answer what the honourable senator has put about some remarks attributed to the Prime Minister because they represent the third version that we have had today of what is alleged to have been said. As regards the unemployment of Australians, naturally the Government and every member of it are concerned about the matter. The Government has announced a number of schemes which are properly within the jurisdiction of my colleague, Senator Bishop, and those whom he represents. I think it would be much better if Senator Carrick devoted himself to some constructive suggestions or behaviour in the Senate to assist the Government to cope with the problems created by inflation and with the problem of increasing unemployment, which is thankfully much lower in Australia than it is in other countries. Then I think we would all get on much better together.

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