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Monday, 18 December 1905

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) - 1 move -

That the following new clause be inserted : - " Sa. Every grower of white-grown sugar who claims the bounty payable under this Act shall, in making such claim, certify, to the Minister the rate of wages paid to any labour employed by him, other than the labour of members of his family. If the Minister finds that such rate of wag'es is below the standard rate, paid in the district in which the sugar is grown, to similar white labour engaged in that industry ; (hen the Minister may withhold the whole or any part of the bounty payable."

This clause provides that each grower who claims the bounty shall furnish the Minister with a certificate as to the wages paid. The Minister will thus be enabled to ascertain the standard wage in each district. If, for instance, 95 per cent, of the growers are paying a certain wage, and 5 per cent, of the growers are paying a lower rate, the Minister will have some evidence that the former is the stand'ard rate of remuneration. In my opinion, this clause will enable the workers to obtain some of the benefits of this legislation. So far, the growers and manufacturers have been given every consideration, but, from all we hear, the wageearners have not shared in the benefits.

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