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Tuesday, 20 September 1949

Mr HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I do' not propose to attempt to reply to the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Thompson). I have had occasion previously to refer to that honorable member. To-night he has excelled himself in a series of misstatements. He has deliberately evaded points made in debate by members on this side of the chamber. He has sought to convince the people of this country that the Labour party is responsible for the high price of Australian exports overseas, and for all the advantages that Australian primary producers enjoy because of bountiful crops and assured markets. I want to show another side of the picture. I do not want to dwell on what the honorable member for Hindmarsh has said. I believe that the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) is the person whose statements in this regard carry the authority of the Government. Consequently much more consideration should be given to his statements than to those of rank-and-file members of his party. In his budget speech, the right honorable gentleman made some statements which, I feel sure, will appeal to honorable members and the public generally. He said -

Australia has been aided in these years by good seasons, and export prices have been high because of the strong post-war demand for our products abroad.

I commend that statement to the honorable member for Hindmarsh. It is much more factual than was the statement made by the honorable gentleman. The Treasurer continued -

The national income has increased and that increase has been widely shared. Imports have flowed in strongly during the past three years, adding to local supplies of goods. But the main key to this post-war financial achievement - as to many others - has been, I believe, that throughout the whole period full employment of labour has been maintained.

Government Members. - -Hear. hear !

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