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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT - It would be quite impracticable for me to attempt to trace, over the whole range of Australian industry, the results which have occurred in particular companies. I think, however, that the figures for the last quarter, when there was the smallest movement for some time in the C series index, particularly with relation to manufactured items, can be taken as some evidence that manufacturers generally are trying to absorb increased cost* rather than to pass them on.

It is the objective of this Government to stimulate competition in Australia, because competition is undoubtedly a means of ensuring that the consumer will pay a price closer to a reasonable figure than would be the case in the kind of social and economic community that honorable members opposite advocate.

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