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GRAND OPERA.

ITALIAN MALE CHORUS. ENGAGEMENT RESENTED,

Hint of Strike. .

SYDÏvFY, lriday-_ deputation, cora prising members of the Australian Theatn c ii Alliance to dny waited upon Mr Mahony, M HS , and other ledenl mem bera to ask their assistance -n moving the rodoni authorities to prohibit under the pioviRions of the Immigntion Act, the 1 Hiding of the Italian male chorus fur the Melin grui i opera season liter the de putation was uitiodiiced by Mi Mabony to the Alinister for Customs (Mr A Cliapman) to ask lum, as the senior Minis- ter in Svdnev, to tike immediate action Other Tcdci-al members present were the leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator GardiuLi), Senator Grant, and Messrs W est, Cunningham, and I" A McDonald UHR,

lhe president of the theatric ii Ubanco (Mr \\ Baker) said that theitneal em ploy ees strongly objected to the policy ot bringing a male chorus Irom overseas to the detriment of \.ustralnn artists The male chorus wini li Ind been trained bv Mr Mowle, and winch was still in tram ing, hid been approved by representa tivcs of the firm of J I. \\ llhamson Ltd , and it was only alter the advent of Dame Nellie Melba that trouble oceuneu Hie Australian chorus had been able to dchvei the goqds " Hie alliance did not desire to prevent an aitist like Dame Nellie Jlclba displaying hei powers, but tho view yvas taken that othei Australians also should be given au opportunity to appeal before their own people It was desired that there should be an amicable settle- ment of the trouble, if that vere pos

Bible

Mr Mowle, the conductor of the trained chorus, traced the negotntions leading to its formation Ile, sim" that the male chorus had been raised on definite instructions from J C Williamson Ltd The firm was

Serfectly satisfied with the chorus, but

lame Nellie Melba did not want it The chorus was tested and accepted by the firm, and the firm was still morally bound

to it.

Air C Dunne, tin secret irv of the Actors' Federation said that lie believed that the Italian chorus was being brought out under contract for rates of pay and conditions below those of tbe ivvard

"Drastic Action" Suggested

Mr Ilarnp, the secretary of the New South \\ iles branch of the I heutncal I m ploy ces' Union, Mid - I ask you to take drastic action to pi event the 1 Hiding of these men Ihcir advent will cause great unrest m the theatrical industry \Sc do not want to go out on strike, but I fear that that is wh it will happen if the engage- ment of the Italian chorus is persisted in " Referring to members of the chorus of the Gonzales Opera Company which visited Australia some y cars ago, Mr Harrap said

-"We discov ercd that the chorus men wei e receiving £1/10/ a week Our -Hurd rate at the time for chums men was _5 a week The company had i mechanician-a ?very capable man in his hue-who used to do all lepuirs to the dresses ni addition to lus mechanical duties A\ i threitened a cesflatiou of woik I inally we put th<_e men ni our union, and they vvcie given £5 a week Hie point is however, that under the Iinraigrition Act tin se men c une into Australia for a certain period lhey were required apparently to put up a bond Some of them, it is believed, aie still in

Australia "

Minister Sympathetic

Mr Chapman expressed his personal sympathy with the views outlined Ho pointed out that the matter lime y thin the province of the Minister for Home and Territories (Scnitor l'circe), ¿ho waa in Western Austrilm Personally I am strongly in sympathy with you," said Mr Chapman I think that all good Austri haua feel thit we have plenty of Austra- lian singers here I hive heird operas m Italy and elsewhere, and I tlunk that we should be able to supply the chorus here Your case is undoubtedly v hard one, but I hope that the trouble nny be amicably settled It would be most unfortunate if it should lead to further trouble, to which a reference has been made by a member of the deputation The Ministry naturally recognises you as members of an industry entitled to protection as much as meniheis of any other industry, and it will endra vour to ensure that you get a fair deal (Applause.)

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