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Tuesday, 3 July 1906
Page: 916

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) .- Speak ing last week on the amendment of the honorable member for Dalley to the motion for the second reading of the Australian Industries Preservation Bill, I quoted from an interview published in the Argus some time ago, showing the flourishing condition of the firm of Thompson and Company, of Castlemaine. I did so to refute the statement that the introduction of the Bill is necessary because Australian industries, particularly of this character, were alleged to be declining for want of more protection. The honorable member for Melbourne Forts, however, interjected that the firm is a free-trade firm, paying its employes1s. per day less than is being paid by other firms in the same industry, and added that it is not prosperous now, but declining. As those interjections made it appear that I was misleading the House, the honorable member for New England wrote to the firm to inquire as to the truth of my statement, and has received, in reply, the following letter: -

Castlemaine, 2nd July, 1906.

We have to thank you for the information contained in yours of the 27th ult. with regard to the interjection made by Mr. Mauger relative to our firm, when Mr.Johnson was speakingon that day. The statements as to wages, made by Mr. Mauger, are entirely false, and with regard to our industry being a declining one, we beg to state that for the past three years we have not been able to cope with the orders that have come to us, and that at the present time we are extending the buildings and putting in additional machinery which will give us an increased output of at least 50 per cent, over what we are now doing.

Yours faithfully,

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