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Evening Star, Issue 15645, 9 November 1914
Tnr: Legislative Council has boon pleased to advert bo its couscr-T-sO WorKSflfJ Vatin' e>-iiit and to jusHours o? lily the reform which ViGir,in. hm- j:i>t been wrought upon it by denying to women working in woe 11 cm factories (ho 43-ho«r wee!-: which pievails in other fa<> tone.-.. The Factories Act Sixes at tins limit t'ne Ic-mrUi of the winking time for women in the manutTcliu-ing industries of New Zealand. To this genetal rule an exccoti >ii admitted in the case of the wooden industry Ft b needless to enter minutely into tno moons for that exception lids time. Suffice it to say that they worn tile u.-ttal one.-, voncr. tide for their antiquity, if ted for their roinutnrm. The mid-owner. it was thought, could not compete .e.iecc'sfully with l.tiitish end foreign maitimmiurers if the concession to women were granted. As ever, beneficial innovation was hindered by the fear of endangering profits. It is true that much plausible argument was employed to show that the woollen industry stood on a different fooling from any other, but analysis reveals little more than plausibility. Again tho same cry is raised when tho anomalous exception is sought to bo removed. The Hon. Mr Bell sagely tells the. Council that he knows of no change in the conditions of tho woollen industry which authorises a departure from the conclusion arrived at years ago. The speeches of the hon. gentleman and of the cushioned, easycircuuistanccd Councillors who supported him attest the continued vitality of the political doctrine which tend:, to exalt profit and cheapen humans. The touchstone should ho the effect of a 4R-hour week upon the health of tho women. Does it exhaust too much their energies? Is it prejudicial to tho maintenance of physical ellicioncy? Medical science has of recent years uttered many warnings against the overwork of women. I'eril.s have been indicated from which men are entirely exempt. From the experience of the past and the dicta of qualified judge, wc havo no hesitation in pronouncing that to work for 43 hours a week tending whirrin" machines involves too great a strain upon the average woman. It would seem unnecessary to elaborate the lessons in support of this opinion, for, as a genera! [ proposition, it has received the imprimatur of the Legislature.
Wo have yet to learn that labor in a woollen factory is less arduous than that, in a biscuit or any other kind of factorv. Clearly the women employed in the woollen mills are specially burdened in tho supposed interests of the wooilemmill owners. Tho favor bestowed i pou the latter is certainly invidious, and would require stronger reasons than wc have yet heard to justify it. Indeed, as the Hon. Mr Paul stated in addressing the Council, women in hosiery factories unconnected with clothing mills are not permitted to be worked more than 44 hours per week, while if tho hosiery factory is n department of a woollen factory tho time allowed is 48 hours. The existing state of things is entirely anomalous, and either all women in all factories should bo mado
to -work 48 hours a week or all women in all factories should be reduced to 44 hours. But the Legislative Councillors, still secure from the reach of popular indignation, not .yet amenable to popular will, marshal a motley array of crazy arguments in support of the anomaly. The Arbitration' Court exists, forsooth, and the appeal should be mads to that Court, which has been erected fer the very purpose of adjusting disputes about hours of labor and other conditions of work. But was the Arbitration Court intended to aispend all legislative activity respecting industrial matters? If so, why have a Factories Act at nil? Surely it is obvious that there are many industrial reforms so incontrovertibly desirable that they should bo made the subject of legal enactment. Shall we leave to the Arbitration Court the determination of sanitary provisions, and of the question whether a half-holiday shall pro.vail? There are many salutary measures which require not the intervention of a court, but only the exercise of common sense ami the exhibition of ordinary humanitarian sentiment on the part of legislators. The Hon. Mr John MacGregor also labored the point that the passage of the Amending Bill would cancel an award beneficial to the workers. A slight complication occasioned by an award should not interfere with the establishment of an important principle. At the most, somo suspension of the operation of the reform until adjustments can he made is all that is required. Then wo are told that a state of war exists, and that the time is inopportune for change on that account. The constitutional antagonists of reform are apparently going to find the war a convenient weapon with which to drive back the spirit of social and political renovation. Why should the war, which in the horror of its carnage is intensifying onr sensitiveness to the. well-being of men and women as such, be pleaded against a measure of tardy justice to the women in the woollen mills? To make such a use of war is to outrage all decent sentiment. Besides, the war, whilst depressing some industries, has stimulated the clothing manufacture. This business has received an accession of prosperity. The equipment of the Expeditionary Force alone, has enormously increased the orders upon onr mills. The tremendous destruction of clothing which war entails means that the European mills for a few years to come will scarcely be able to cope with the European demand. Their competition in the colonics will he slackened for several voavs Now is just the opportune time fur bringing the woollen factories into lino with the other factories of the Dominion. If it is argued that it would bo disastrous to lessen the hours of labor when the pressure of work is at its height, wo answer that increased pressure will continue, and the mills must increase their staff. When unemployment is being accentuated in other directions it would be foil} - to accentuate the strain on those employed in woollen mills. The Factories Amendment Bill which has been rejected by the Council would have assisted in some small degree in adjusting the. disturbances to employment occasioned by the wav. It would have done tills while conferring a long postponed benefit on a large body of women workers.
It is unfortunate for the Government that the only Labor Bill introduced into Parliament during their term of office should have been tramped upon. One more argument, if more were needed, has been added to the multitude that cry aloud for tho removal of that obstruction to democratic progress—a nominative Legislative Council. Our Councillors have resolved. it would seem, to signalise their unfitness to discharge legislative functions by treating the vote of the Homs of Representatives with contempt, by ignoring the just claims of a large body of women overtasked beyond their sister work.women, and by supporting their indefensible vote with tho claptrap which the opponents of progress have employed fur centuries.
At* the sitting of the Nateby Court last week Jessie Griffiths, who was proceeded against by the Otago Society for Pre-v-mien of Cruelty to Animals, was fined £5 and costs 136«») for working six horses while in an unfit, condition, owing to sore shoulders and other troubles. At the Port Chalmers Couit on Saturday afternoon J. Wharton, tin* cxcond took of tile Tokomaru, was charged with wilfully disobeying the lawful commands of the captain. “The accused offered the excuse that lie was suffering fiom the efforts m drink, and had not yet ‘ recovered. TheBench (Messrs Alawcon and Dc Alans, J.l’.s) convicted accused, and ord‘*rcd him to forfeit one day’s, pay. At tn-day’r- (fit - tin ir, before. Mr Mawson, J.P., a i*■ - -- r offender fur drunkenness was convicted and discharged.
A Timuni message pays:—A Burnham bov mimed Palmer was before the C*uit this meriting charged with the attempted murder of James O'Connell, a farmer in the Oandcbov Srtilenient, and was i<‘*trrinded. O’Connd! ha? u dangerous cut on tho head, and is in the hospital.
Some, alterations winch the Railway Lepartment has made on the north line vu. bo appreciated hy week-ender* and hoadav makers. It has been decided tiuit lue train which now loaves Palmerston at 7 n.m and Warrington at 8.29 a.rn. /.mu. leave at 6.30 n.m. and 7 39 rei-.peciiveiy. It will arrive in Dunedin at ;v.:n. train which at present leaves Dunedin tor Palmerston at 4.30 p.m. has been put bac*. nearly an hour, the time of departure_ being fixed at 5.27 p.m. There alteration* have been made as an experiment. in 1 ’.', will enable people whose famines are a,, the seaside to get away each night- ami return to business at a more convenient time in the- morning than has hitheiio been tho case.
The'Otago Art Society's oSth annua! exhibition is attracting a fair measure of patronage on ordinary days and quite largo assemblage on every special occasion, filch as Saturday afternoon last, when tea was provided. Mrs Joachim, tno president, is arranging another “afternoon" for Wednesday, when music trill be provided The latest .sales arc : A Misty Morning.’ by C. X. Worslcy, and ‘The laic? Cap.’ by A. E. Kellv. The* art union is to bo drawn next- week. An ex-councillor who has just returned from a visit to tho corporation’s electrical power generation works at Waipori Falls expresses himself as gratified by the great improvements effected within tho last four years. The tunnel has been completed, and the old thnno (a relic of the company days) discarded. Tho power-house capacity is trebled. There are three Hne.-p of pipes instead of one. The weir on Waipori River is a splendid work of concrete, 66ft high, and damming back the river for some three-quarters ot a mile. Tho two great reservoirs. Loch Loudon and Lake Luella, arc now beautiful sheets, storing water and power for tho dry season. Lastly, the new road to the falls is spoken of as a great work, beautifully levelled, and, when the new bridge is complete, will bring the power elation within half an hour’s drive by motor from the Taieri. Such means of communication has been very greatly required in the past. Our informant ’saw signs of shooting of pigeons having been carried on in the bush, notwithstanding the fact that this is breeding time. It is to be hoped that this cruel and illegal practice -will be put an end to. The artificial lakes have been declared a sanctuary, and the wild ducks are nesting around them. Mr E. S. Wilson, secretary of the Shipwreck Relief Society, this morning telegraphed to Gisborne* asking if any assistance is needed for the crew of tho KoutuTrui, which is ashore in the Bay of Plenty.
Mr ‘Paulin telephoned at 2 p.m. : E.N.E. to S.E. winds; some rain showers about the east coast, and fine inland. Services in connection with the Wesley Church, Cargill road, anniversary wer held vesterday. The Eov, . E. D. Patchett (of Milton) occupied the pulpit morning and evening. At the morning service ho spoke to tho children from the words ; “Be ye also ready,” and his sermon was based on 'the third verse of Psalm 01. In tho evening his address was of a patriotic nature, the text being “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” His illustrations wore taken from tho experiences of the British Army during tire present war. In the afternoon there was a service of a musical nature, when items were given by Misses Blackburn and Heazlowood, Mr Wood, and the choir. Tho Bov. R. S. Gray spoke to the children, and also gave a stirring address to the adults, appealing to them to bo earnest and faithful in their work. At all the services special anthems were given by the choir, under the. leadership of Mr W. A. Bainsford. Mr C. E. Cole presided at the organ. The Rev. A. Wynne Thomas, whose preaching has come as a revelation to large numbers, preached his last sermons in Knox Church yesterday to crowded congregations. Mr Thomas, who came from Horne to take the place of his friend, the Rev. E. Davies, during the latter’s absence in England, has proved himself a preacher of exceptional ability, lucid exposition, ami wide range. Perhaps the highest compliment that could lie paid him was that of a citizen who remarked : " He has made it worth while to come to church.’’ A Napier message states that in the Magistrate's Court to-day Henry Brock was fined £25 for having uncustomed goods in his possession. The goods comprised articles received from steamers in the roadstead. Tho police emphasised tho difficulty of detecting this sort of smuggling. “ Have one with me.” ” Thanks, I wi”. I’ll have Watson’s No. 10, please.”—[Advt.] A glass of Speight's firm- at lunch and supper is better Ilian all the lea in China. — [Advt.] Watson's No. 10 is a little dearev than most whtekies, but is worth Iho money.— [Advt.] Rheumatic patients should take Broadway's Rheumatic Cure, price 3s 6d; gives immediate relief. Wilkinson and bon, proscription chemists.—[Advt.] Now season's photographic goods- Excellent stock now arriving. Cameras from Send your order early to H. J. Dill, 11 and 13 Frederick street, Dunedin. 'Phono 1,141. —[Advt.]
Evening Star, Issue 15645, 9 November 1914
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