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Monday, 17 September 1973
Page: 1040

Mr SNEDDEN - I ask the Prime Minister: Is it not a fact that in calendar year 1972 the consumer price index advanced by 4i per cent? Is it not also a fact that in the first half of calendar year 1973 the consumer price index advanced by 5i per cent? Is it a fact that the Prime Minister's Treasurer has said that he expects the consumer price index rise for the September quarter to be higher even than that of the June quarter? In these circumstances will the Prime Minister answer the question of the honourable member for Corio: Does the Prime Minister believe that a prices policy alone is sufficient to attack inflation?

Mr WHITLAM - No, I certainly do not believe that a prices policy alone is sufficient to control inflation. I have never said so. There are a very great number of other measures which are required to control inflation. The Australian Government has used most of those measures. It refuses to adopt some of the measures which are open to the Australian Government and which earlier Australian governments adopted but which put people out of work. The present Australian Government will not adopt those measures open to it which entail the creation of unemployment. But what I do say anc! what I believe everybody in the country will acknowledge, is that price control is a necessary element in controlling inflation. Price control is available to the States. They do not use it. Nobody believes that even if they all were to combine in using it they would be any more effective now than they were in the late 1940s or the 1950s when they picked it up from the Commonwealth. Price control is a necessary component in the battle against inflation. Of course it is not a panacea. It alone does not suffice, but it is -necessary to have it, in Australia and in any other developed community.

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