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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - The employment aspects of this question could more appropriately have been addressed to my colleague, the Minister for Labour and National Service. I have not yet had the opportunity to study the remarks of Sir Barton Pope, but I understand that the firm's slogan is that it grows big with Australia. I am glad that this firm has prospered during the eleven years in which this Government has been in office.

The honorable gentleman has asked whether the general employment situation will remain satisfactory. I remind him that according to the last published figures the number of work vacancies recorded was in excess by some 15,000 of the number of applicants for employment recorded at that time. In New South Wales and Victoria the number of applicants was only one-half the number of vacancies recorded, and it is well known that in the engineering and building industries there has been an acute shortage of labour for some time. I am confident that although the measures which have been adopted by the Government should have some steadying effect on the economy generally, there will be ample opportunities in the future for sustaining employment in this country, as has been the case during this Government's term of office.

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