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Wednesday, 11 July 1906


Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) . - I am not going to say one word about my attitude towards the workers or towards Wages Boards; my attitude is too well known to require any answer from me.


Mr Lonsdale - The honorable member was against this amendment a little while ago.


Mr MAUGER - I was against putting into the hands of free-traders the power to destroy industries and to prevent wages being regulated at all. I am still of opinion that there can be no satisfactory industrial settlement until the same Parliament that fixes the Tariff also applies the industrial laws. I have a motion on the notice-paper dealing with this question, and there will be an opportunity to test the sincerity of honorable gentlemen opposite in regard to the workers and Wages Hoards. If the amendment can be made effective, I am most anxious to see it applied. I contend, however, that we should not punish employers, who are paying fair wages, because the majority of the trade do not happen to be up to their standard. What we ought to do is to get the work here, and then to compel employers to work reasonable hours and pay fair wages. As to the remarks about Mr. McKay, it is only fair to say that the dispute was not about wages, but about the number of apprentices. For some months past, Mr. McKay has been paying .full Wages Board rates, even to those apprentices; and I say again what I said by way of interjection, that I do not care whether it is Mr. McKay or any one else---


Mr Lonsdale - How much did Mr. McKay pay to the election fund ?


Mr MAUGER - Not a single penny.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He ought to.


Mr MAUGER - Most decidedly he ought to.


The CHAIRMAN - I must ask honorable members to maintain order.


Mr MAUGER - It is only fair to say that Mr. "McKay is paying, and has been paying for some months, the wages fixed by the Wages Board.


Mr Fuller - Does the honorable member not think that it would be a fair thing to wait for the reports of the Tariff Commission ?


Mr MAUGER - Those reports have nothing to do with the question we are now considering. If the amendment could be made effective, and could be applied so that it would not injure those who are paying fair wages, I should be prepared to support it; but I am convinced that, as it is at present worded, it is r-.ot so applicable. I believe, however, that a provision has been framed which will meet the case, and I shall be happy to vote for that.







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