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Tuesday, 14 May 1968

Mr SPEAKER -Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the four financial measures? As there is agreement, I will allow this course to be followed.

Mr CREAN(Melbourne Ports) 14.8J- The four measures now before us deal with what are called the supplementary estimates. These are the amounts which departments require over and above what they anticipated when the Budget was written. In addition, there is legislation for the normal supply that is necessary once this House rises at the end of the session to enable departments to carry on after 30th June until we resume in August and finally pass the Budget at the end of September or early in October. On this occasion, supply is sought from 1st July to the end of November, a period of 5 months. These Bills afford the House an opportunity to look at the custodianship of the Government of the finances of the nation. They give us the opportunity to point to certain trends that seem to be evident; to praise, occasionally, though not very often; and to criticise where possible in regard to the circumstances of Australia.

There are a number of matters to which I want to draw attention. The situation that Australia is in at the moment is being described as a buoyant economy. The front page of today's 'Australian Financial Review', for instance, describes Australia as having an 'exuberant economy poised for take-off. In these days financial writers too often resort to journalese rather than to facts, and with all due respect to the learned author of that piece of journalese, I prefer to suggest that at the moment the Australian economy is a hesitant economy.

Mr Bosman - What does the honourable member call journalese?

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