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Thursday, 12 July 1906

Mr CONROY (Werriwa) .- Even with these alterations, the clause is imperfect, because we have neglected to provide that, before the competition is declared unfair, the manufacturers shall be bound to provide sufficient goods of the quality required. Suppose, for example, that this year a clause of this kind had been put into operation with regard to blankets. For one reason or other - I suppose because they desired to keep up the prices - the Australian woollen mills did not take the trouble to employ sufficient men to make all the articles required for the Australian people. If they had multiplied their staff twofold or threefod, they could only have kept pace with the demand, but not one of them took the trouble to do that,' because there is a duty of 25 per cent, on the finished article. The condition of affairs would have been still worse if, under the operation of a clause of this kind, competing blankets had been absolutely shut out. We ought to provide that before the competition is declared unfair, manufacturers shall be bound to provide a sufficient quantity of the goods required. Therefore I move -

That the following words be added - " Before competition is declared unfair, manufacturers of goods declared to be under the provisions of this Act shall make sufficient of such goods; and any manufacturer neglecting to employ sufficient men at reasonable rates of wages shall be liable, for every day or portion of a day, he so neglects to employ men, to a penalty of Five hundred pounds."

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