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Wednesday, 20 November 1974
Page: 2555

Senator WITHERS - My question, which is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, follows statements made by the Prime Minister in Brisbane recently that Australia is going through its most difficult economic period for more than 40 years and that the figures for the next few months will be quite bad. I ask the Minister whether he believes this statement to be a direct contradiction of the Prime Minister's admonitions of a few weeks ago that all was well and that it was only the Labor Party's Nervous Nellies and the Opposition Parties which were forecasting economic problems. Has the Prime Minister now joined the ranks of the Nervous Nellies and purveyors of gloom?

Senator MURPHY -I think the Prime Minister of Australia is trying to draw the attention of the people of Australia to the difficult circumstances which face the world. We know that there is a world wide inflationary situation. There are all sorts of currency developments.

Senator Sir Magnus Cormack - What about New Zealand?

Senator MURPHY -Again I hear Senator Sir Magnus Cormack interject. He asks: 'What about New Zealand?' I must again inform the Senate that the greatest attention should be paid to the example of New Zealand where a Labor Government is able to carry out the policies which we would all like to carry out here. That Labor Government with the same philosophy as ours, the same kind of leadership and the same aims is able to produce a situation which is an example to the whole world of curbing inflation -not stopping it. No one can do that. New Zealand is curbing inflation and keeping unemployment down to a minimum. The New Zealand Government has the advantage of not being obstructed in an Upper House by the same Party which Senator Sir Magnus Cormack represents. There being no Upper House in New Zealand the Government is able to carry out its policies. Unfortunately, we have the obstructionists opposite who are doing everything that they can for political advantage to prevent the Government from carrying out its policies. I assure honourable senators that the Prime Minister is giving the leadership which the country requires. If the Opposition will let us carry out our policies we will achieve the same fine results as are being achieved in New Zealand.

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