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Tuesday, 29 August 1972
Page: 467

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Has the attention of the Min

Senator Willesee - I rise to take a point of order. I ask you, Mr Acting President., to draw the attention of the Minister to the fact - I would have thought that Senator Webster would know this - that questions must not ask for expressions of opinion and that they shall not refer to debates in the current session. I ignore such Standing Orders requirements as the exclusion of inferences, imputations, epithets and all the rest. I appeal on those 2 points and ignore the other 5 or 6 matters which this question infringes.

The ACTING PRESIDENT - Order! I draw those points to the attention of the Minister for Civil Aviation.

Senator COTTON - There was some reference to this matter in the Senate last week. It is accepted by most people that any revaluation of the Australian currency would lead to a reduction in the prices received by exporters, particularly primary producers and the mining industry. It is also expected that this would have a marked effect on those manufacturers who export, lt would have the same result. Manufacturers exporting are now quite an important factor in Australia's total export pattern. Revaluation would be expected to lead to unemployment in some areas of industry. I think that this is a logical, sensible and realistic conclusion.

For my part, I do not care for speculation on currency movement, potential or otherwise. I think it leads to trouble. I do not think it is in the public interest. Trying to keep this matter on the noble plane for which Senator Willesee asked - I put it at the level that we should consider public interest - 1 noted with some concern that observations had been made by various people on currency revaluation. It was stated by the Leader of the Opposition in another place on a television programme which I saw that his view was that this should happen. Some members of the same Party have said that they think the idea is a good idea but other members of that Party have said that they think it is a bad idea. So the problem the Australian people have is a difficult one. Can they determine the policy of an alternative government led by the Leader of the Opposition in another place? They would find this hard. But it is really not a great problem for them because this Government will be returned to office by the Australian people. Our policy is quite clear.

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