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Tuesday, 18 April 1961

Mr McMAHON - If I can take the first and third questions together, we do not keep separate records of seasonal employment. Naturally enough, this month I have had a special review made of the meat and sugar industries in Queensland and I can give the honorable gentleman estimated figures of seasonal employment up there, but we do not keep detailed records of seasonal employment throughout Australia. Nonetheless, I thought that the recent statement by Mr. Monk that 1.5 per cent, of the Australian people might be temporarily unemployed for seasonal reasons was very moderate and sensible. I have no reason to disagree with what Mr. Monk has said. As to the second part of the question relating to persons temporarily unemployable, my department looks at this matter in a subjective way because we like to think that all people are employable and we try to find jobs for them. Nonetheless, one very well-known and accurate commentator has recently mentioned a figure for persons temporarily unemployable with which I would not like to disagree. As to Mr. Monk's comment that we should not panic because of the percentage of unemployed mentioned by him, again I think that Mr. Monk was being temperate and sensible, and I feel that I can certainly agree with that part of his statement.

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