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Wednesday, 30 November 1960

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I would treat with considerable reserve any statement that companies are retrenching employees as a consequence of the Government's recently announced economic measures. They have not had time to estimate what the effect will be on the demand for their products, and consequently it is improbable that dismissals are taking place because of these new measures. As to the cases I have looked into, including those I mentioned yesterday and the one just referred to by the honorable member for Phillip, I think I can assure the honorable member that all those retrenchments were planned before, and in some cases many weeks before, the date on which the Government announced the changes. As to the particular company referred to by the honorable member, the number of employees involved has been exaggerated, and we do not think we shall have great difficulty in placing in other employment the men who have been retrenched. I think I should say, for the benefit of the honorable member, that we can all rest assured that the economy of this country will continue to develop at a very healthy rate, assisted by the measures which have been taken by the Government, and that as a consequence the opportunities for employment will also continue to increase.

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