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Thursday, 12 April 1973
Page: 1370

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer to his acceptance of the call by the Premier of Victoria, Mr Hamer, for a Premiers Conference to consider incomes and prices policies. Does the Prime Minister now realise the impact of ever increasing wages in forcing up prices to housewives, home buyers and all the community? Does he agree that sharply rising wages and changes in conditions of employment contribute more to price rises than profits do? Does he expect that the trade unions will slow down price rises by reducing demands for increased wages and does he expect that the trade unions will call off the crippling strikes now harming the economy and the people of Australia?

Mr WHITLAM - I would expect that all persons in receipt of incomes, whether they are members of trade unions, members of white collar organisations, self-employed or living on dividends, would be less disposed to increase their incomes and to use the means available to increase their incomes if something were done about prices. I am very happy that the Victorian Premier has made a suggestion, which my Government and most of the other governments in Australia have now accepted, to confer on what steps can be taken under our federal system to halt all aspects of inflation.

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