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Monday, 5 June 1939

Mr SHEEHAN - It is a deliberate untruth. That is the information which has been supplied to me.

Mr SPEAKER - Order 1 Obviously if the remark would be disorderly if made by the honorable member it is equally disorderly if made by a person supplying information to the honorable member.

Mr SHEEHAN - The sixth question was -

What is the rate of delivery per week from this firm?

The answer supplied to me was- -

The most recent contract allotted to the firm provides for delivery at the rate of 1,000 hats per week.

This answer proves beyond doubt the union's charges that this firm is not abiding by the award, for it would take between ten and twelve journeymen felt hatters to do the skilled work needed to supply the Defence Department with 1,000 hats a week. It would appear that the answer given to my fifth question was an endeavour to provide the firm with a good answer, because both the Defence Department and the firm knew that it requires more than three journeymen to do 83 dozen hats a week. The union requests the Minister to inquire of any manufacture of felt hats whether it would be possible for three journeymen felt hatters, doing all of the skilled work of the trade, to do 83 dozen, or 1,000 hats a week. The Felt Hatters Union claims that its statement can be substantiated at an inquiry. It is extremely dissatisfied with the refusal of the Defence Department to hold an inquiry into the activities of Hatcraft Proprietary Limited. It claims that an investigation would show that its complaint is justified.

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