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Wednesday, 3 April 1946

Mr Francis s asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Will he examine the report that the Minister for Labour and National Service has given an assurance to the annual conference of the State Australian Labour party industrial groups in New South Wales that the Government this year will introduce a 40-hour working week and add all loading to the present basic wage?

2.   Does this statement by the Minister represent the official view of the Government?

3.   If so, how is it proposed to give effect to these changes?

Mr Chifley - The answers to the honorable members questions are as follows : -

1.   The statement made by the Minister for Labour and National Service was to the effect that the Government's future industrial policy, which is in accordance with the platform of the Australian Labour party, included a 40- hour working week and also the solidifying of the present basic wage which was made up of various loadings.

2.   The Minister's statement also indicated that it was known by all parties that both these matters could only be implemented through the Arbitration Court.

3.   The statement in addition indicated that the hearing of the case for the 40-hour week was now before the court and would soon be heard and that it could be assumed that when the " hours " case was finished the hearing of the review of the present basic wage would follow.

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