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Thursday, 1 December 1938

Mr THORBY - Everything that is humanly possible to do has been done to make available prior to Christmas as much employment as practicable, in respect of both Commonwealth and State public works. Lists of all jobs have been prepared and these works are being put in hand immediately. I hope that a lot of work will be offered within the next few days. I am happy to be able to say that every unemployed man in the Australian Capital Territory will be in full time work next week. To illustrate the steps that have been taken, I direct attention to the fact that at Mascot aerodrome in New South Wales the Commonwealth Government is spending £4,000 and the State Government £1,000, in conjunction, on work that will engage at least 95 per cent, of unskilled labour. Every job that can be put in hand from the north-west coast of Western Australia to the south coast of Tasmania, whether the expenditure involves only about £500 or runs to £5,000 or £6,000, is being scheduled and will be put in hand within the next five or six days, I hope.

Mr Beasley - Will the labour be drawn only from the State labour exchanges ?

Mr THORBY - Not necessarily. The doors have been thrown open as widely as possible so that all men who want work may be able to obtain it wherever it is offering. This applies to tradesmen and also to unskilled labourers. -Some of the jobs will be handled by the Commonwealth Public Works Department and some by the State labour bureaux. All restrictions are being lifted, as far as practicable, so that the maximum number of men may be employed. If men are ready to accept work it should be possible for them to get it. If they are not prepared to work, I cannot help it.

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