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Thursday, 29 October 1931

Mr SCULLIN (YARRA, VICTORIA) (Minister for External Affairs) - I stated in the newspapers this morning that the Government has decided that the reduction in the basic wage, due to the fall in the cost of living, including the reduction recently announced, will not apply to Commonwealth public servants until the 10 per cent, reduction of their salaries ordered by the Arbitration Court, has been overtaken. The reduction of salaries by the court lowered the cost of production, and incidentally the cost of living, and we should not be continually reducing wages accordingly. The Government believes that wage-earners generally should recover something of what they have lost. The Government controls only the Commonwealth public servants, but it does not propose to apply to them any reduction of wages due to the decline in the cost, of living until that decline exceeds the 10 per cent, by which wages were reduced under the federal award.

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