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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Dr J F CAIRNS (LALOR, VICTORIA) - I am sorry that 1 happened to introduce a note of politics for the honourable member for Cowper, for i know he is never political but I think that it is also important for the Australian people to realise that these things are happening.

Of course, the traditional remedy to which the Treasurer seems to me to be particularly wedded is that when export income goes down for some reason or other the logical thing to do is to bring all income down, to have a general credit squeeze so as to bring all income down into conformity with export income.

Mr Bury - Which is going up.

I)r J. F. CAIRNS - Oh, yes, I hope it is going up. But the honourable gentleman is not contradicting my proposition. My proposition is that be is wedded to the attitude that if export income goes down his economics are that all incomes should be brought down by appropriate monetary measures. This could be done by a credit squeeze, an interest rate increase, if necessary a fall in wages and, if necessary a rise in unemployment.

Mr Bury - The export income is going up, so how can it-

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - Yes. I am not disputing that. I am talking about the honourable gentleman's economic views and theories and what he would tlo if export income was not going up. Is it not remarkable that the honourable gentleman, who is no fool, avoids my accusations altogether by introducing another one? My argument is that this is not the way to do it; that export income of today, I suppose, under traditional methods, would be appropriately balanced by 4% or 5% of unemployment and a consequent reduced national income structure generally. If it was not for the Government's fear of losing votes from that kind of result, this would be the appropriate situation, even if export income is going up.

Mr Bury - It is very hypothetical.

Dr J F CAIRNS (LALOR, VICTORIA) - Yes, of course it is hypothetical. But if the Government was not afraid of losing votes it would bc actual, it is hypothetical today because of that.

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