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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator HOARE (South Australia) . - In this instance honorable senators have an excellent opportunity of supporting an Australian industry which intends to embark upon the manufacture of a commodity which is at present imported in large quantities from Great Britain and foreign countries. As an Australian, I feel it my duty to give first consideration to Australian industries, and thus assist in providing employment for our own people. When in Sydney recently I visited the works of the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company, and was informed by the manager, who conducted me over the plant, that all the company now required was additional protection to enable it to undertake the manufacture of sheet glass, on which work an additional 227 men would be employed. Senator Guthrie seems to be somewhat doubtful as to the quantity the company is likely to produce, and the price at which it will be made available; but the fact that the company contemplates the expenditure of £300,000 on additional plant is sufficient guarantee of its intention to do its best in the interests of the Australian people. If it does not give the users of sheet glass a fair deal, I am prepared to support the imposition of a lower duty, as has been suggested. Large quantities of cheap glass are now imported from Belgium, where the conditions of labour differ considerably from those in Australia. The basic wage for male adults employed in glass factories in New South Wales is £4 6s. for a 48-hour week. A few youths are employed in the factory, but female and child labour is not permitted. In Belgian factories, however, male and female labour is employed at 4s. 2d. a day of eight hours, or 25s. a week of 48 hours.

Senator Duncan - They work seven days a week in Belgium.

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