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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I should like to say a few words with regard to a statement made by Senator Thomas as to the wages paid in Great Britain and Australia in this particular industry. It happened that I had in my hand at the time a copy of a cable which has just been received from the United Kingdom, giving the wages paid there. I find that turners and fitters', working 47 hours per week, receive at present £3 19s. 8d., and labourers £31s. 7d. From 1st December the wages will be - Turners and fitters, £3 16s. 7d.; and labourers, £2 19s. 4d. ; and from 1st January there will be a further reduction to £3 13s. 6d. per week for turners and fitters, and £2 16s. l0d. for labourers. In Australia the wages for turners and fitters working 44 hours a week is £6 2s. l0d. ; and for labourers, £4 2s. 6d.

Senator Gardiner - Where are those wages paid?

Senator VARDON - They are the wages paid in the industry throughout Australia to-day. I understand they are the Arbitration Court award figures, and in any case they have been given to me as official. If they are wrong,. I am sorry. This disposes of Senator Thomas' argument concerning the wages paid in the industry in the Mother Country, as compared with. Australia. I 'hope the Minister (.Senator E. D. Millen) will have something to say about the remarks made by Senator Lynch concerning the duties on the particular machine referred to. It does wonderful work, and if it cannot be, and is not being, made in Australia, the users of it should not be penalized by means of this Tariff.

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