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Thursday, 2 August 1906
Page: 2262

Mr STORRER (Bass) .- I regret that the honorable member for Melbourne Ports should have cast a reflection upon Tasmanian manufacturers. Before referring to the sanitary conditions of a jam factory in that State - and the question of sanitation has an important bearing on such an industry - the honorable member should have been sure of his facts. When the Shipping Service. Commission visited Tasmania recently, several of its members - the honorable member, for Darling, the honorable member for Riverina, the honorable member for Barrier, and I - visited Messrs. Jones and Company's jam factory, and although we went there unannounced, I am quite prepared to allow my fellow members of the Commission to decide whether or not we found the establishment in a sanitary condition. It is to be deeply regretted that an honorable member should see fit to reflect upon any industry or business when he is not in possession of the actual facts. The industry in question is not in my constituency, but I am always ready to stand up for that which I believe to be right. I do not think that any manufactory should be injured by unfair criticism.. I am opposed to the amendment of the Constitution. We already have many powers, and we should proceed to exercise those powers before we seek to obtain others. If we proposed to secure an amendment of the Constitution in one direction, we should have a demand for many other amendments. I hope, therefore, that the wisdom of the House will cause it to reject the motion. Surely the members of the States Parliaments have sufficient intelligence and ability to enable them to deal with industrial legislation. If the members of any State Parliament refuse to take action, it is for the electors of that State to bring about a change by returning those who will be prepared to support up-to-date legislation. I 'wish now to deal with the statements that have been made with reference to the wages paid by jam manufacturers at Hobart. When the Tariff Commission was taking, evidence there, the following statement was presented to it by a witness, relative to the number of hands employed and the wages paid by H. Jones and Company Limited : -

Employes only, exclusive of cost of management Number of hands employed ranges from 150 in midwinter to 700 in midsummer. Hands now employed, 170. Total wages, ^214 6s. 6d. ;. average, £1 5s. Labellers (girls), piece-work, average 20s. to 30s. per week all the year round. (Victorian rate, 14s. per week). Solderers (boys and men), piece-work, 45s. to 50s. all the year round. (Victorian rate, 42s. per week). Case makers, piece-work, 35s. to 50s. a week all the year round. Total wages paid in Hobart by H. Jones and Company, ^.15,000 to Z ,8,000 per annum. In addition to factory hands, in January of each year it takes some 2,500 pickers all that month to gather raspberries and black currants alone for the use of our factory, at a cost of about ,£9,000 for labour alone, and exclusive of cartage and steamers or rail freight.

Messrs. Jones and Company did not hide anything. They threw open their books to the Commission and allowed it to inquire into the whole of their business.

Mr Mauger - Is there only one jam factory in Tasmania?

Mr STORRER - That conducted by Jones and Company is the largest one in the State.

Mr Mauger - But is there only one such factory ? I did not refer to any individual jam factory.

Mr STORRER - There are other factories, and they are just as up-to-date as that carried on by jones and Company. The statement I have read will apply to all the. jam factories in that State. It was decided that a witness from the firm of Jones and Company should give evidence before the Commission, as their factorv is the largest in Tasmania, and, (hat being so, I am unable at present to quote other evidence bearing; on this question. I certainly am not picking and choosing. It will be seen from the statement I have read that the wages paid in Tasmania are higher than those paid in Victoria, notwithstanding that a Factories Act is in force here. For the reasons given I intend to vote against the motion.

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