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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 3184

Mr WILLIS (GELLIBRAND, VICTORIA) - My question which is addressed to the Treasurer, is supplementary to one asked yesterday by the honourable member for Blaxland. Has the Treasurer studied a paper delivered to a meeting of the New South Wales Branch of the Economic Society last Friday by Dr M. G. Porter, who is an economist from the International Monetary Fund and who is currently working for the Reserve Bank of Australia? If so, is it a fact that Dr Porter concluded that if the previous Government had revalued the currency in 1971 the current inflationary pressure on the Australian economy would have been markedly diminished and there would not have been a need to raise interest rates this year? In view of this conclusion and in view of the fact that a recent report of the Joint Committee on Prices found the Government's revaluation policy to have generally reduced import prices below what they otherwise would have been, will the Treasurer agree that the previous Government's irresponsible exchange rate policy is the cause of much of our present inflation and that our rate of inflation would have been much higher that it is at present if the Labor Government had not had the courage to revalue our currency immediately on taking office and on subsequent occasions?

Mr CREAN - I must say, Mr Speaker, that I agree with you that on many occasions answers should not be long. If I were to give a proper answer to the honourable member's question, it would take a long time. I hope to be able to do so in about half an hour's time, when certain urgency proposition is advanced from the other side of the House.

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