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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1872

Senator MARRIOTT (TASMANIA) - Has the Leader of the Government in the Senate seen page 5 of the official transcript of a speech by the Prime Minister to the National Conference of the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations, held in Canberra on Monday, 2 1 October, when the Prime Minister spoke to the employees and gave them 3 assurances regarding unemployment? My question relates to the third assurance. The Prime Minister said:

If unemployment does occur in the community despite our efforts and our intentions wc stand ready to cushion its effects.

He went on to say how this would be done. Can the Leader of the Government tell the people of Australia how many thousands of people must be out of work in Australia before the Prime Minister of this country learns that unemployment has occurred?

Senator MURPHY - Although I am not aware of all the contents of the speech, it is quite clear from what was said by the honourable senator that the Prime Minister was assuring those to whom he was speaking that the Government would take measures to counter the effects of unemployment and would cushion those effects. The honourable senator ought to be fair. He knows that a number of schemes have been announced by the Government. The Minister for Labor and Immigration has announced the Regional Employment Development scheme. There are other proposals to deal with the effects of structural unemployment, whether in the metropolitan areas or outside. A great deal of work has been done by Ministers, the Public Service and those concerned with this matter to mitigate the effects of unemployment. To suggest that the Prime Minister is not aware of this unemployment is not fair at all either to the Prime Minister or to the honourable senator.

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