Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 27 June 1941

Senator LECKIE - The demand is not that women should replace men. but thatthey should go into industry and help the men.

Senator CAMERON - Surely the honorable senator does not suggest that where a man has a job, a woman should be sent to work alongside him and help him? The Government, through its responsible Ministers, is saying that there is a scarcity of man-power, and that many jobs which are now being done by men could easily be done by women. Therefore, it is proposed to replace these men with women and thus allow the men to do other work for which they are more suited.

Senator Leckie - Put a jeweller on the 25-pounder gun? Tim I is what the honorable senator is suggesting.

Senator CAMERON - No. I am suggesting that in such places as a toolmaking shop, where highly skilled labour is required, a skilled jeweller would be a valuable acquisition. As a matter of fact, I am informed by a foreman at Maribyrnong whom I know very well, and who is recognized as an authority in his trade, that, quite a number of trainees are showing an extraordinary aptitude for their work, although many of them had no previous training. It can be imagined, therefore, what class of work can bc done by men. who have had some experience. Take, for instance, men making water meters, electric motors, refrigerators, lawn mowers and so on.

Senator Leckie - The honorable senator, is out of date. A Minister has just been appointed to attend to all those things.

Senator CAMERON - I know that, but it is one thing for a Minister to be appointed to do a job, and another thing for that job to be done. What I am complaining of is that the job is not being clone despite the appointment of various Ministers in the past. The mere appointment of a Minister is no guarantee to the people that a job will be done. The only guarantee is to place the power in the hands of those who will do the j'ib.

Senator Leckie - And who are they - the men on the honorable senator's side of the chamber?

Senator CAMERON - The power should be placed in the hands of the workers actually engaged in industry. For example, when we visited Maribyrnong workshops, I said to the foreman "How are you getting along in the matter of material?" He replied that there had been a. hold-up. in the supply, and when asked for the reason, he said " In our opinion, the Government is allowing it to be used in private industries not engaged on war work". I then said I had heard that there was a lag in production and that certain shops

Were not producing as much as they had been. Again the foreman replied that material was lacking. Had the Government taken the advice of the Australasian Council of Trade Unions, there would now be

Senator McLeay - 'What did he say about strikes and stop-work meetings?

Senator CAMERON - He said exactly what I have said to honorable senators often, namely, that to tha extent that profiteering i3 encouraged, there will be strikes.

Suggest corrections