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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1375

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -My question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate as Minister representing the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that decisions on currency valuation changes are usually announced at weekends to minimise the risk of speculation and to avoid instant overreaction? If so, will the Minister inform the Senate why the Government chose on this occasion to switch to a mid-week announcement? Can he say why the impending announcement was an open secret in Parliament House last night, especially in the Press gallery, shortly after the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Snedden, had demolished the Government's Budget?

Senator MURPHY - I am not sure that these things are invariably done at weekends and I am not sure what other countries do. I recall a number of such decisions being announced at the weekends. The Leader of the Country Party in this chamber says that an impending devaluation was an open secret last night. Has he forgotten the occasion three or four years ago when in all the newspapers it was reported that his Leader fought with the Liberals in the Cabinet? The newspapers were full of reports of impending devaluation for days and days before the event. Apparently the Leader of the Country Party in the Senate has some complaint that somehow something got out in the middle of the night.

Senator Drake-Brockman - At 10.30 p.m.

Senator MURPHY -He says it was at 10.30 p.m. He ought to be congratulating the Government for managing to keep its affairs at least a lot closer to itself than and he and his colleagues did when they were in government.

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