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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2631

Senator SHEIL (QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Has the Government decided that reference to imported inflation is not being accepted by the people and is, therefore, a useless piece of propaganda? In view of the claim of the Leader of the Government yesterday that Australia has a much higher rate of inflation than New Zealand because New Zealand does not have an upper House to obstruct legislation, I ask: Is it not a fact that the Government is so concerned for its survival that it uses any excuse to camouflage its inability to control the inflation it has caused?

Senator MURPHY - One Opposition senator, certainly on his own behalf and maybe on behalf of his Party, has said that the statement about inflation being imported is propaganda. The economists do not agree upon a great deal, but I would have thought that if they agreed upon one thing it was that inflation is world wide and that, without any doubt whatever, inflation is imported into Australia. The price of commodities all over the world is increasing. Let us assume that there is some component of domestic contribution, for the purposes of this argument. It is the height of foolishness for the Opposition to start to suggest that there is no world wide inflation and that inflation is not being imported into Australia. All the cargo that is coming into this country and all the commodities that are flowing into this country are bringing inflation with them. Anyone with any knowledge knows that inflation is reflected world wide and is affecting all countries, whether they have advanced economies or backward economies or whether they have high employment or high unemployment. This is a feature of the world today.

If we read the world news we see what is happening in Japan, with its enormous rate of inflation, and in the United States, but we have to come into the Senate to hear a senator actually say that it is all propaganda to claim that inflation is world wide and that inflation is being imported. That shows the level on which the Opposition is operating. It is the reason the Australian people will not accept it as an alternative Government. I repeat that while that kind of attitude is being manifested by honourable senators opposite, there is no hope for them. Before the people would ever trust them again they would need to change their constitution, their policies, their leaders and their name. It will be a long time before they get around to doing so.

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