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Friday, 21 November 1941

Mr Guy (WILMOT, TASMANIA) y asked the Minister for Commerce, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to a system of fixation of minimum prices for primary products in operation in the United States of America ?

2.   Will he give consideration to this scheme with a view to the adoption of a similar one in Australia for the preservation of Australian primary industries?

Mr Scully - I have caused a communication to be sent to the Australian Government Trade Commissioner in New York, requesting him to obtain details.

Clothing Trade Employees: Brick, Tile and PotteryWorkers.

Mr Holt t asked' the Minister for

Labour and National Service, upon notice -

1.   What increases of wages, if any, were granted by employers to (a) clothing trades employees, and (b) brick, tile and pottery workers by way of settlement in the recent disputes affecting these workers.

2.   Were these increases approved by a Judge or a Conciliation Commission, and, if so, by whom ?

3.   Has any application been made to the Prices Commissioner by the employers in either case for permission to odd the increased production costs arising front the wage increases to the price charged to the consumer?

Mr. Ward.- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - 1. (a) The Federal Clothing Trades award was varied by Judge Drake-Brockman on the 11th November. The variation granted a weekly war loading of 5s. for males and 3s. for females, to operate from the 1st January, 1942; (b) the dispute in which the Brick, Pottery and Tile Employees' Union was concerned in the metropolitan area of Sydney was settled by an agreement reached by a Conciliation Committee under the " Industrial

Arbitration Act, 1940" of New South Wales. This agreement was settled as an award under that act. As the provisions are rather lengthy, they arc not reproduced here, but a copy will be given to the honorable member.

2.   See 1 above.

The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following answer: - Following an application by brick manufacturers in New South Wales, the Commonwealth Prices Commissioner recently increased the price of bricks to offset increased costs arising from higher labour costs. The new price is still lower than that of any other capital city in the Commonwealth. No similar application has been made in respect of the clothing trade or of the tile and pottery industries.

Professor Copland.

Mr Sheehan n asked the Prime

Minister, upon notice -

1.   What positions are at present held by Professor Copland with (a) the Commonwealth Government, (b) any State Government, and (c) any other public or quasipublic body?

2.   What payments by way of (a) salary, and (b) allowances are made to Professor Copland in respect of each position?

Mr Curtin - Professor Copland was appointed Commonwealth Prices Commissioner at the outbreak of the war. Later, he was appointed Economic Consultant to the Prime Minister. By arrangement with the State Government of Victoria his services as chairman of the State Economic Committee were retained in that capacity. With the approval of the Commonwealth Government he was appointed by the State Government to be a Commissioner of the State Savings Bank of Victoria. Professor Copland is a temporary officer of the Commonwealth, carrying out onerous duties for the Government, and it is not reasonable to ask that he should completely sever his connexion with his own State. Professor Copland is on leave from the University of Melbourne. As Commonwealth Prices Commissioner and Economic Consultant to the Prime Minister, ProfessorCopland's emoluments are £1,800 per annum, plus an allowance of 30s. a day which includes " living away from home " allowance and travelling expenses. His emoluments as Commissioner of the State Savings Bank have been reduced at Professor Copland's own request during the period of his occupancy of the office of Prices Com missioner to one-half of the normal rate which is £500. As chairman of the State Economic Committee he receives the nominal amount of £100 per annum. Having regard to salaries paid to senior officers of the Public Service, Professor Copland's total emoluments are regarded as proper to his office.

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