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Thursday, 3 June 1926

Senator ELLIOTT (Victoria) .- Until Senator Guthrie detailed the hours of work in the woollen industry in Australia, I was inclined to support the Government, but in view of the luxurious conditions enjoyed by those engaged in this industry I do not see my way to do so unless the Minister is able to give some better explanation of why these conditions should be made still better.

Senator Findley - Does the honorable senator want to bring the Australian workers down to the conditions of the Old Country?

Senator ELLIOTT - The work in which these persons are engaged is not laborious, and if they want additional support from this Parliament they should work the ordinary hours of labour which are regarded as a fair week's work in Australia, namely 48 hours a week. When we find in our midst an industry which is able to carry on and afford its employees these luxurious, shortened hours of labour, we must ask ourselves whether, in granting still further protection, we are acting fairly to others in the country whose hours of work are much longer. When I was speaking on the second reading, I clearly indicated that, in my opinion, we had already doneenough in the way of protection to any industry that was able to give its employees these special conditions of labour.

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