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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr HUGHES (West Sydney) (Minister of External Affairs) . - There are two ways. Take, for instance, blacksmithing. A lad might become a boy about the shop or a striker. If he became a striker he would be eligible, if there were such a thing, to join the Strikers' Union, or the Iron-Trades'

Labour Union. If he were smart he would always be in front of the anvil and eventually learn the business. That is generally true of most trades. I would remind the right honorable member for East Sydney .that each year less and less real technical skill is required owing to the introduction of machinery! It is becoming largely a question of machine minding, and technical skill is required less and less. But some skill ought to be required, I think. The right honorable and learned gentleman will remember that in New South Wales the Court always limits the number of apprentices. It provides- for labourers who will work with those persons although they are not in their particular union.

Mr Reid - Is there any union to which a labourer can belong?

Mr HUGHES - Yes. For instance, the Shearers' Union includes rouseabouts, tar-boys, and all sorts of persons, the age being the only qualification.

Mr Reid - That is all right.

Amendment of the amendment agreed to.

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