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Wednesday, 28 November 1973
Page: 2186

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is it a fact that the Government recently commissioned and has received a report on an Australian prices-incomes policy by a Mr T. C. Winter, a private industrial relations consultant? If this is so, what were the fees and charges, if any, paid to Mr Winter or his organisation for the report? Is it true that in his recommendations Mr Winter canvasses the possibility of a national round table conference as a method of achieving trade union support for an acceptable Australian prices-incomes policy? Finally, is this not in concert with the policy being advocated by the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the present referendum campaign?

Senator MURPHY - It is true that Mr Winter was asked to prepare a report, and he has done so. I do not know whether any fee was paid for the preparation of the report, but I can imagine that there was. The details of that matter would, I think, come within the responsibility of the Special Minister of State. As to the industrial aspects of the matter, I have not studied the report. There may be some recommendations in the report which do coincide with the views put from the other side of the chamber. No one pretends that we on this side have all wisdom and that there is all foolishness on the other side. Now and then some sensible things have been said by the other side of the chamber. I might say that since the shock of last December the Opposition has started to realise that it did not have all the wisdom and it is starting to attend more carefully to its affairs. I am pleased to know that the Opposition is studying carefully what Mr Winter has said. That shows the wisdom of the Government's action in commissioning this outstanding industrial authority to advise the Government. If there is anything further to add, particularly if the honourable senator wishes to pursue the question of the fee paid to Mr Winter, I will look into the matter.

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