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Tuesday, 3 December 1974
Page: 3008

Senator WOOD (QUEENSLAND) - In view of the answer to the question asked by Senator Gietzelt I ask this question of the Acting Leader of the Government in the Senate: Is it not a fact that the rate of inflation when this Government took over was 4 per cent? Is it not a fact that inflation in this country has not been imported but has been selfcreated? Is it not a fact that unemployment began to grow in this country when the present Labor Government put on a credit squeeze which caused a slack in the building industry in particular and also when the Government cut tariffs, which was a departure from its well established Labor principle of high tariffs to provide work for Australians?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I think, if the honourable senator casts his mind back to the 1972 election, he will remember that two of the matters upon which the Labor Government fought the election were inflation and rising unemployment- both brought about as a direct result of the Budget introduced by the then Treasurer, Mr Snedden, in August 1972. Despite all the camouflage that honourable senators opposite use it is an indisputable fact that when this Government assumed office in 1972 it had to face up to the problems of inflation and unemployment, both of which had been created by the previous Government. The honourable senator also tries to hide the fact that inflation and unemployment are problems in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy and all the other developed countries. If the honourable senator thinks that in those circumstances we can act in isolation he obviously has to have a hard, cold look at the political realities of international economics.

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