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Tuesday, 15 August 1972
Page: 8

Senator MURPHY - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service. Does the Government share the nationwide alarm at the latest unemployment figures, which show that more than 100.000 people are out of work and which are the highest July figures for 10 years? Can we expect the Minister for Labour and National Service, Mr Lynch, and the Prime Minister to continue to make absurdly optomistic comments as each month shows a worsening trend? Will the Minister now tell us what positive urgent action is planned to alleviate the despair of the 2 per cent of the work force which is unemployed and those who are dependent on them?

Senator WRIGHT - The Government of course shares a concern for the figure that was recorded in the last survey of unemployment. Although it is low in comparison with international experience - in the United States of America for several years no.v it has been 5 per cent or 6 per cent and in the United Kingdom it has been 5 per cent or 6 per cent - nevertheless the Australian Government is determined to make every effort it can to keep unemployment to the very minimum. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Labour and National Service have not been making absurdly optomistic statements on this subject. They have been thoughtfully bringing to the attention of the public, not despairing even yet, the view that if only industrial chaos and industrial wastage of employment were eliminated by the leaders of the trade union movement a great improvement in the employment position would be achieved.

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