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Hours of Labor.

The Rev. J. S. Hill, of Auckland, who has shown great interest in the social problems of the city, in a recent address on ' Wealth and Wages,' took for a peg on which to hang his remarks ' Hunger knows no Law.' He had himself, he said, been on the verge of starvation for six weeks, and knew from painful experience what those words meant. If law was to be upheld they must abolish hunger. The rate of wages was determined by the cost of living. In the thirteenth century Englishmen were on the level of the Chinese, and earning lsd per day. At tho present day the labor of six Englishmen was equal to the labor of twenty-four Frenchmen, thirty-two Austrians, or eighty-four Portuguese. He had not been able to find the number so far as Chinamen were concerned. It was the greater use of machinery which made the Englishman's labor worth so much more, and had enabled the working classes to obtain shorter hours and higher pay, and therefore better living. It would be necessary to legislate for the restriction of the hours of labor and of trading. He cited the beneficial effects of the passing of the Factories Act in England in increasing wages, while it decreased the hours of labor, and at the same time showed from statistics that the people had grown in intelligence and comfort. In England they had now a nine and a-half hours Bill, but what would be the effect of an eight hours Bill ? Its immediate effect would be to create a demand for the labor of 1,631,572 men in addition to those now employed. He had not had time to calculate the result of a similar law in New Zealand ; but it would assuredly prove most beneficial.

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Hours of Labor., Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

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Hours of Labor. Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

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