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CHARITABLE AID., Issue 7948, 2 July 1889
At the last meeting of tho Caversham Council a communication waß received from the Charitable Aid Board forwarding the Board's inspector's report on the earnings of two young women whose case had been cited by the Mayor of Caversham as one in which tho Board bad done wrong in withdrawing assistance The report stated that one of the two girls had for four and a half months averaged lii.l 8d per week, and the other' for four months had averaged 19s 6d per week. These sums represented amounts that could be earned within usual factory hours—from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with half an hour for lunch.
Referring to this matter the Mayor (Mr M'Laren) said:-These two girls are vestmakers, and the price paid for men'd vests is ?d without collars and 9d with collars, or, say, an average of 8d each. For the week ending 28th March het pne of the girls oamed 14i Bd. To earn this sum the girl had to make twentytwo vests—iqual to 4 vests a day on five days and two on Saturday (which is a short day). The most expert vest band in Dunedin cannot make more than twenty-two vests per week, working only faotory hours. If you take the wage earned for week ending 6th February—namely, LI 8a 4;i—one of the girls had to make forty-two vets during the week. To earn that sum, do the Charitable Aid Board know that tho ,jirl had to make twenty-one vestß at home in the evenings, besides working full factory hours? These twenty • one vests represent forty-two hours' labor by an expert hand-an average of above eight hours each night the girl had to work dnring that week at home No wonder the doctor told the girl that unleßß she left the factory he could not say how long she would remain in this world of grini?. The above example is not for one week, but week after week these two girls labored night and day to provide sustenance for their mother and four brothers and (sisters. [A statement was annexed, sh'owioglhit'the girls had made 229
vests at home during the last tour months,] I would particularly draw the attention of the Council to the week ending 14th February, when (from the above statement) these two girls must have made thirty vests between them at home after leaving the factory-an average of five vests each evening during the week. Now, gentlemen, the case of these girls, seventeen and eighteen years of age, is briefly this: they would rather work till two or three o'olock in the morning than their mother, brothers, and sisters should want. They have done this for the last two or three years, their father being unable to work for a considerable time before his death. One girl has worked so hard that her health has given way. She has been under medical treatment at the Dunedin Hospital for some time, and it is only a question of a few weeks before she will have to leave work altogether. The Board, in their wisdom, refuse to assist this woman with four little ones, unable .to work to live a respectable lite; but they increase the allowance in another case where there iB only a man and his wife—the man earning money in training racehorses, and the wif i earning as muoh as one of thes i girls. The Council were asked by the Board to assist them with any information about cases of relief in the borough. The Council in good iaith tupplied the information, but the Board (after an interval of four months) inform tho Council that their statements are not correct, The Board have the administration of charitable aid in their hands, and it seems to me under the circumstances to be a farce to aßk the Council's opinion, and then ignore it
CHARITABLE AID., Issue 7948, 2 July 1889
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