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TRADES COUNCILS' CONFERENCE.

REMITS FROM AUCKLAND. The Auckland Trades and Labour Council spent some time last night in discussing remits to be forwarded to the approaching conference. NATIONAL INSURANCE. Mr Peake proposed that one ot the remits to the conference stiould be the National Accident Insurance scheme, outlined by the Hon. A. 11. Guinness. This '.atter, he contended, had been investigated by the committee and they opinion that Mr Guinness bad brought forward a very comprehensive scheme which would be of great benefit to the workers. Mr Rosser seconded the proposal, and suggested that the Council should approve of the general principles coiitained in Mr Guinncsa , proposal. The motion was agreed to without discussion. THE IRON INDUSTRY. Mr Aggers proposed that the Government be asked to nationalise the iron industry. New Zealand, said the mover, was a young country, but the time would como -when it would become a. nation. Mr Peake: That is If someone does not take us. Mr Aggers: We aro not taken yet. He went on to say that there -was any amount of iron ore, limestone and labour in New Zealand, and all that -was needed was that it should be doveloped. The Union Company had had 20 or 30 steamers built in other countries, but how many in New Zealand? Similarly with the NorEherh Company. At one time we could produce the finest fleet of schooners' and yachts in Australasia. There were brains and intelligence enough in this country to build steamers here which could compete with those of any other land. Japan had found it advisable to nationalise her iron industry and so should New Zealand. In Whangarei, so he had been told by a surveyor of note, tbere were mountains of iron a-nd coal and limestone close by. Another delegate in seconding the Tesolution said there were ores here equal to those found in any part of the world. Mα- Rosser supported the motion and mentioned the large amount . expended annually in the importation of ironwork for railways and tramways, which could be produced in the Dominion. By natiiofnalising this industry -the Government would secure a great national asset. Mr Aggers said he was informed thai some sixteen years ago, iron for Toof* ing was imported and sold at £12 per ton, and now it was about £20 per ton. The manufacture was cheaper now., but there was a strong combination which (had resulted in increased .prices, i The motion was carried. ■ ' FAIR RENT BILL. The chairman moved that the Government should be urged to bring down a Fair Rent Bill. Rents had now gone up out of all proportion to the workers' earnings, and - a measure o! the nature indicated was quite as necessary as one which had been passed preventing ex- j cessive rates of usury. Mr. A. Roseer seconded the motion, and mentioned that Sir J. McKenzie many years ago introduced a splendid Fair Rent Bill, but it was not carried through, so the proposal was not a new one which might be looked on with alarm by the Government. The reeolution was adopted. RTGHT TO WORK. Mr. 0. Mason moved that the Govern^ ment "be aeked to bring down a Right to Work Bill. There were a great many unemployed in this young country, he said, and the winter would .see many more. This was a matter which must engage the attention of the workers throughout the world. A Eight to Work Bill implied that.the Government should provide the work when necessity arose. Mr. Aggere seconded the motion, which was agreed to. STATE COAL MINES. Mr. Peake moved that the Government ■be urged to open State coal mines and depots in the North Island. A delegate observed that if private companies could run the coal business at a large profit, then surely the Government could. . The chairman thought it a very necessary thing, for they had recently seen the result of certain legislation paesed with a View to protecting tfhe miners. The Taupiri Company had raised the price Is. per ton, meaning an additional' iIS.OOO profit on their output for an extra cost to them of £1000 or £1200. This should not be allowed, and a State mine would prevent' its recurrence. Mr. Rosser said they were paying 30s a ton for household coal which could be profitably sold few 21s. The bulk of the workers bought 'by the sack at 35., and, 12 sacks went to the ton Mr. Mason: ifoU don't get'your tofli Mr. Peake: You do if it's raining' and the sacke are wet. Another speaker thought that coal vendors should be forced to carry, scales aiiid weights as in New 6outh Walesy-so that the purchaser might challenge the weight of any sack and have it proved ij-his presence. The motion was'carriei . <■' • '*

' 'BONUSES.' FOR •BABIES. ■ ' 'Mr. Stephens moved-that the Govern.-, ment be urged- to give bonuses to families to : - encourage.the propagation of -the human race:*' ; *';■•• ■&'■■■' -•••■■' •■ A Voice: And- yet we object to immigration. 'The country is overcrowded noifi •' ' --•.•;--■ x- '■ y--. .-. ■■■ ■:■■. !■.'- Mr. Masons opposed the motion, and thought the proposal would offer no inducement.- The right- way "would Tieto opeii State coal mines ■ and introduce a right to work bill.- The population* would follow. At present people feared, to bring children into the*'World 1 "because they did not know if they vfOtild be able 'to support them. ■;' '■ '-'■' ' \ The motion was lost. ,: '■' >•• ■ ELECTRICAL IPOWER. Mr. Peake moved that the..Governraent be urged to utilise the water power, for public benefit. He : did not think thatithe generation and,supply of electric&i power should be controlled by private companies, and thought that the State should take advantage of the country's great resources in. this respect. . The resolution wae carried. PREFERENCE TO LNIONISTS. On. the motion of, ; M^\' jtosser, it -was decided to urge on the Conference the desirability of .re-affirming the principle oi compulsory preference to unionists. The Council ,also decided to recommend the Conference. to re-affirm the principal of .taxation on unimproved values and also the need, for th.c protection of witnesses. The chairman, in referring to the latter subject, remarked- that the employees of large companies and corporations who had tcf give evidence before Various tri'buttals, sometimes incurred the enmity of their employers by speaking the truth, while if they told lies they would be prosecuted for perjury.

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TRADES COUNCILS' CONFERENCE. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 89, 15 April 1909

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