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Wednesday, 4 December 1974
Page: 3089


Leader of the Government in the Senate: Is it true to say that the traditional optimism amongst Australian industrialists and businessmen and even the man in the street has been jolted by a sharp downturn in the economy? Is it also true that this calls for expressions of encouragement rather than discouragement by the Government of the day? Why then do the Prime Minister and other Ministers make the deliberate point that inflation and unemployment are problems throughout the Western world and are incapable of solution? How can the people respond to a call for increased national effort if at the same time the Government preaches propaganda that breeds defeatism? Would not Australia's interests be better served by the Government inviting the people to accept the challenge to prove to the the rest of the world that inflation can be beaten?

Senator MURPHY -I think there is some sense in what the honourable senator is putting forward. It is true that we should not be defeatist, lt is true that the Government should give encouragement, and it is giving encouragement. One of the ways in which it is giving encouragement is by indicating to the people that there is a problem to be faced, that there is worldwide inflation and that it should be understood what it is we are facing and that this difficulty is not one for Australia alone, that it means that we must co-operate with other people and we must not get panicky about the difficulties arising out of inflation which is occurring all round the world. I thank the honourable senator if he is indicating an end to attacks by his Party upon the Government when it is calling for encouragement. I hope only that his Liberal colleagues will also join with the Government in encouraging industry and the people of Australia to work with the Government to solve the problems and that they will remember that even if we are undergoing difficulties, and we are, judged by world standards we are doing extremely well. Australia is a very prosperous country and we have a wonderful future ahead of us, a future which is assured under a continuing Labor government.

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