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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2596

MACQUARIE NETWORK WEEKLY BROADCAST BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP - 17 MAY 1972 - UNEMPLOYMENT

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/1972

Release Type: Broadcast

Transcript ID: 2596

EMBARGO NOT FOR RELFFASE BEFORE, 6.30 pm ( EA. ST)
PRIM AMTAIAISTE
% VACQLTARIE NETWORK~ WEFKLY BROADCAST
BY THE PRIME f1I1-IS-vER, THE RT HON.
WILLINNI 1McMiAHON, CN, MP, 17 MAY 19 72
U N E I P 1 -Y JP N T
Yesterday the Govornment announced thDe A-) ril figurcs for
unemployment i -n ZAustralia. R-ighitly, -,, rious unemrnloyment is a probLDm
we all feel deep~ ly about. Txis-is n view I havc li, 1d av( r r'unck. I have
been in political life. It is a d -nly held conviction of mine that
every Liberal Gov-rnmc~ nt should do evznrything n its power to ons!,-Z1
the fullest employment of our monpower ind r!.-source--s. I w--Tant to rcepeat
that policy to you now. And we; c have , over thi: v~ nars, beccn unbzeli vably
successful with.-thes--prlicics.
We must a--lso remember that over the Cl-ristmas/ New Year neriod
a large number of school lc2avers and those who. finishe; d their tertiary
education, entered the work force for the first time. This year thlere
wiere about 180,0,31. Please ac this in mind.
At the and of January there were about 130,00T) registered
unempl oyed.~ VThese figures wer-a re duced considera'Oly in February, Marchn
and 17nril. For the third month in a row, uncraployrment fell this
t -i-mec to about 93,40,0, a fairly big dron -frcm 1-30,0-, 0 in January.
Just as imnortant and looking to the,-future, healthy trcend
developed in job vacancies in all St,-ates. T. 11 these! facts arr-important
not only becauae of th-e vital fact that many mr -re pennol, have found
jobs, but be: causo2 thf-. se are facts -not cnniolis,; but facts which confirm
predictions my Ministers have bee n makIng of the-: imnroving trend
of the economy and thAe grc, 7ath of businc-ss cnnfidence, T. h-y giv the
lie , dire-ct to the ness; imists in tho Labor Party who have made -gild and
irresponsible foreca3ts of unomployment figura s as high as 200,000.
Back in January, when many.,. ooole, including myself, were very
worried about the level of un-' mploymnnt, the Leader of the Ounnsition
stapped off a plane and immodiately mad--the7-prediction th t and I
quote " There would 1) a another 50,000 unaninloy d witi. 1in three mcriths".
If-Mr Whitlam' s guess had come true, it would haJve brought the? total
of un -rnployed to 173,000. In fact it is now a little~ over 93,000. Once
aaain the facts thems-i v, . s destroy the Labor Party's forecasts.

Five days later, with time for sober reflection, he repeated
exactly the same dangerous forecast. His spokesman on Industrial and
Labour matters, Mr Clyde Cameron, was making the same sort of anguished
cries to any reporter or television interviewer who would listen, that
there would be 200,000 people out of work.
There is only one conclusion to be drawn from these statements.
Both these leaders of the Labor movement treated unemployment as a
political issue. They wanted greater uncertainty and more unemployed.
The more people who were out of work the more votes for them. I think
most Australians will agree with me that people who try to make politics
out of unemployment really do not care about the people themselves. This
c-lies to Mr Hawks of the A. C. T. U. as well. If, and I emphasise if, it
was not a deliberate and premeditated political tactic, then it was
negligent and downright dangerous.
The employment position we are now in is pretty good under the
circumstances. Now let me talk to you about the positive decisions we have
taken to live up to our promise of full employment. We did not hesitate
to take faction to fight unemployment. We will not hesitate in the
future. We do not think unemployment is a nolitical issue. And don't
want it to be.
We believe that all Australians want unemployment to be. t. e. ated
with seriousness and with sincerity and that the Liberal policy of . ll
employment be sustained. I assure you that is what the Government has
done. I assure you that is what we will do.

Transcript 2596