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Tuesday, 30 May 1939

Mr MULCAHY (Lang) .- I am in favour of the amendment of the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan). I do not believe that annexes should be placed on other than Commonwealth property. I should like the Assistant Minister (Mr. Holt) to state by whom the annexes are selected, and to whom one should apply for the privilege of having one provided.

Mr Brennan - Who are the favoured few ?

Mr MULCAHY - As the honorable member for Batman asks, who are the favoured few?

Mr Street - The honorable gentleman can learn that by perusing Hansard.

Mr MULCAHY - I am acquainted with one or two annexes which are attached to the factories of big engineering firms, controlled by men like 'Lord McGowan. Practically the only labour employed in these particular engineering works is junior labour. Probably when the Government receives the account for material supplied it will find that the cost of wages has been calculated on the basis of adult rates. I again ask, by whom are these annexes selected?

Mr Street - The Principal Supply Officers' Committee.

Mr MULCAHY - I emphasize this, because I know that the Government is favouring the big monopolistic concerns and that the small workshops are entirely ignored. An inquiry into the matter is demanded. The information sought is such as this Parliament should have. The establishment of annexes on propertyother than that held by the Commonwealth is entirely wrong. I hope that the Government will accept the amendment, and supply the information desired, and that, in the event of an extension of annexes, the smaller engineering firms, notalone in New SouthWales, but also throughout Australia, will have an opportunity to compete for this particular work.

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