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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3170

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. I refer to the official statistics that were published yesterday showing that in the September quarter of this year economic growth, as measured by gross domestic product seasonally adjusted at constant prices, declined by 2.8 per cent- apparently the sharpest decline of any quarter since the depression of the 1930s, and a decline indicating severe and chronic recession during that period and for the future. I refer also to the very many statements made in the Senate by the Attorney-General during the September quarter in which he claimed that the economy at that time was sound, robust and healthy. Since the official figures for the period have totally discredited all the Minister's statements on the economy, will the Minister admit his serious misleading of the Australian people and refrain in future from such grossly erroneous comments and predictions.

Senator MURPHY - I am not aware of the figures to which the honourable senator refers. It is verydifficult to know what the people sitting opposite want the Government to do. Only yesterday we were given a lecture by Senator Drake-Brockman, the Leader of what was the Australian Country Party and apparently now is the National Party, telling us that it was the duty of the Government to give encouragement to the people and not to spread gloom. Now Senator Carrick of the Liberal Party says that things are bad and will be bad for the whole future. He is trying to spread gloom and despair in the community whereas he ought to be saying that the Government is taking action that is designed to improve the economy. He ought to be encouraging the people of Australia, in accordance with what Senator Drake-Brockman said, to have some confidence, to fit in with the Government's plans, to get together and start to make the economy work. I am afraid that Senator Carrick is adopting a very negative approach. I would be pleased if he took some of the advice that was given yesterday by Senator Drake-Brockman.

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