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Monday, 17 September 1973
Page: 1042

Mr SNEDDEN - I address a question to the Prime Minister who in answer to an earlier question by me about the undertaking or guarantee from the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions said that it occurred during a conversation last Wednesday night and that it was part of many items raised in the conversation. I ask the honourable gentleman whether there was any discussion about who would judge whether or not prices control had been successful in controlling inflation? Was there any discussion of the way in which the ACTU President would ensure by sanctions applied through the trade union movement that there would be restraints on wages?

Mr WHITLAM - There was no discussion on this. It was only a passing reference. I would imagine that it would be quite easy for anybody to make a judgment from such indexes as the right honourable gentleman selects from time to time - one quarter as against another quarter, quadrupling the figure for one quarter to give an annual figure and that sort of thing. It would be quite easy to gain some small overall impression of the extent or the rate of inflation. Of course the right honourable gentleman would have to concede that Mr Hawke, with whom I was conversing on many other things besides this, would be a more considerable economist than the right honourable gentleman or any of the Treasurers who preceded him.

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