BRISBANE, JULY 6, 1895.
A Minimum Wage.
Labour Member Turley intends moving the following motion in the Assembly on the first opportunity :-
“That in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that in all conditions of contract for the performance of work, undertaken to be done for the Government, there shall be attached a schedule containing the names of the different trades or occupations necessary for the performance of such work and the minimum rates of wages to be paid to the operatives of such trades or occupations, such rates to be fixed by the Government; and to be determined by the ruling rates of wages paid for similar work in the district in which such contract is to be carried out, such rates to be observed until the completion of the work. The schedule to be attached to and form part of the conditions of the contract to be signed and be binding on the contractor and upon any other person who may take a sub-contract under the contractor. That a clause be inserted in the conditions of all contracts that eight hours shall constitute a day's work for which such wages shall be paid. That the schedule and all clauses relating to employe's contained in the conditions of contract be posted up in conspicuous places wherever such work is being performed.”
The Labour Party's Position.
Explanation by the leader.
In the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, the 26th June, the leader of the Queensland Parliamentary Labour Party, Mr. Thomas Glassey, made the following explanation:-
Mr. Glassey: It was intimated to me last night, before the House rose, that I had been guilty of violating some rule of parliamentary etiquette, or law, in not having announced to the House that I had been appointed leader of the Labour Party; and I wish now to emphasise the fact that this party is anxious and willing to work with the Opposition if it be an organised party and has a leader with whom we can communicate from time to time. I am not prepared to say that it is an organised party, but we have always recognised such a party, and have on two or three occasions communicated with the hon. Member for Maryborough, Mr. Powers, as leader of the party, showing our willingness to work with that party where we can mutually agree. I wish to make this matter perfectly clear to the country because I think there is some misapprehension with regard to it. I also wish to announce that although we are a distinct party, and intend to remain a distinct party: we are here to support measures, no matter who the author of those measures may be – whether they are introduced by private members, or the official Opposition, or the Government. It is our desire to promote the passing of measures which are likely to improve the conditions of the lives of the people of this country. However, I wish now to say briefly, and once for all, that having the confidence of my fellow members. I have been appointed to lead that party. If any change takes place in the leadership, I have no doubt that the person who may hold the position will make the same explanation as I am now doing. I must say, if the House will pardon my doing so, that I think there was some want of courtesy on the part of the Premier last night in not - - - -
The Speaker: The hon. Member is now going beyond an explanation.
Mr. Glassey: Very well, I will not pursue that further. All I desire to say is that while we are anxious and willing to work in the way I have stated, still this party is a distinct Labour Party, having a distinct platform, and a distinct constitution, and it is not our intention to depart from our independence at the dictate or suggestion of newspapers or any other party. I thank the House for affording me the opportunity to make this explanation, which will, I think, clear away some misunderstanding that existed.