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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Senator TURLEY (Queensland) - I do not see that it is possible for me to support the request moved by Senator Stewart, because the men mentioned by the Minister are employed in the first place by the State, and are doing work for the State. If, however, they do work for the Commonwealth, they are paid by the Commonwealth at the same rates as are paid by the State. If we determine that they are not paid sufficient for the work done for the Commonwealth, the only practical course is for the Commonwealth to establish its own. printing office and fix its own rates of remuneration. I suppose that when operators are doing work both for the Commonwealth and State, the time when they are employed on Commonwealth work is taken, and they are paid for that time at the same rate as when they are doing work for the State. If we say that they shall be paid more for doing Commonwealth work, the position which we shall create will be that the men in the Government Printing Office doing work for the Commonwealth must" be paid in accordance with one standard of wages, whilst the men doing work for the State must be paid at a totally different rate. There is no way out of the difficulty unless Parliament is prepared to establish a Commonwealth printing office. In connexion with all contract work for the Commonwealth, a rate is fixed below which men cannot be employed. I take it that there is a rate below which the men working in the Government Printing Office who are doing Commonwealth work cannot be paid. I cannot support the request, because I do not see that any benefit can accrue from it.

Senator STEWART(Queensland).- My motion is intended to be an intimation to the Government that when the linotype operators are employed for longer than seven and a half hours in any day on Commonwealth work they shall be paid overtime. I am anxious that the good name of the Commonwealth shall be maintained, and that we shall not be written down as a lot of sweaters. If the men are compelled to work ten hours consecutively on Commonwealth work, they should be paid overtime rates for the extra two and a half hours.

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