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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1832

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate inform the Senate whether provisions of the Trade Practices Act will apply to extravagant claims by political candidates, such as the now well known misrepresentation: 'Only Whitlam has reduced inflation by one-third'.?

Senator MURPHY -The Trade Practices Act is confined in its operation to goods and services.

Mostly it is founded on the financial corporation power of the Commonwealth. I will concede that it does apply, in the Territories, to individuals. It is, I suppose, a pity that political candidates are not subject to some kind of tribunal. Perhaps if the penalties which attach to those who engage in false representations under the Trade Practices Act were applied to political affairs, the community would hear a lot more good sense and a lot less false representation.

I would have thought that if one were to examine the conduct of the various political figures and the parties in recent years, it would be pretty obvious that the public has rejected as false and misleading the proposals put forward by the now Opposition on 2 important occasions. The people of Australia were consulted twice and were able to consider the falsity of the representations being made to them by Opposition senators which kept them in Opposition. If the Opposition foolishly thinks that the people will not see through the falsity of its promises, it will find this out on the next occasion on which we go to the people.

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