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(Per Press Association.)

WELLINGTON, February 17. The Hon. W. A. Holman,;Premier of New South Wales,, was accorded a civic reception this morning and was formally welcomed by the Mayor and the Hon. R. H. Rhodes Later, Mr Holman was the guest ot honour at the New Zealand Club . hmchepn, and spoke on " The problem of labour disputes and their settlement." Throughout the globe during the last 10 years, he said, there had been a,, steady increase in the prices of the necessaries of life, that had been, bitterly felt by the working classes, and there-had been a steadily rising wave of discontent amongst them. There had, in consequence, been a decided decrease in the purchasing power of money, and the earners of wages which was at a subsistence level, say, 10 years ago, found them.selyes to-day in a position of o-reat distress. As the result they had seen the remarkable phenomenon of apparently an absolute wave of discontent spreading through-the labour communities of the-whole world. He contended that there was only one basis of settlement, namely, frank recognition of this fact, and for employers to pay higher wages. Assuming there was need for more or less continuous rendJTistment of . the wages scale, by which method was that read■jiistment to be made? Pt' appeared to him no method had been devised better than that of arbitration now in force in New Zealand arid Australia, and he put that proposition to them more readily because there were, no doubt, many in New Zealand who were just recovering from a violent shock to their faith in the efficacy of arbitration, and because at this monient in New South Wales there was a violent struggle'going on which no doubt would be quoted as an illustration of the utter failure of the arbitration system there. He believed that in spite of these occasional upheavals in Australia and New Zealand, faith in arbitration was really on the increase. If they took the international situation to-day and compared it with that of a century ago he supposed no calm thinker would deny that on the whole the forces that made for the_ preservation of peace amongst the nations were enormously growing in' volume" 'and strength^ During the last few years things had happened which 50 or 100 years ago would have brought about a. cataclysm, yet peace had Ibeen preserved. The same, applied to the industrial situation in Australia and New Zealand. No doubt there were strikes and would be strikes, but they also knew that a situation which 20 years ago would have produced some great industrial upheaval passed by without the great struggle which under a cruder state of things would have occurred. Throughout Australia, there had been increasing confidence in arbitration, methods. Arbitration was the method by which : grievances should be 'ventilated, considered, and redressed, and it was the special glory of New Zealand to. have contributed that legislation, which was to-day a permanent gift to the advancement of humanity.

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Bibliographic details

LABOUR PROBLEMS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914

Word Count

LABOUR PROBLEMS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914

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