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FACTORIES AND SHOPS BILL.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,-The aiacrit) seme people despla) in their desire to prove the non c\isU-iit is risill) anton ishing Youl coi respondent Ylph i ' ( Courier," September 2) furnishes a case in point B) vvliat mental process he arrives at the« conclusion that, in the proposed amendments to the Shot» and l-octorlcs Act the claims ol drapers' and gro ecu» is"l«taius aie ignored 1 (lil to understand
Alpha ' betrivs iii Ignorance as large as it -is culpable, or he assuming that he is en assis taut, should 1 now that it is to the persistent cllorts of m organised bod« of assistants thit the proposed amendments arc large!) due The justness, moderation, and necessity for our de mauds admits of no denial m the minds of those persons who recognise the oui) basis of human light is human welfare
In the face oí our efforts " Ylpha s" eleventh hour antlet) strikes us as somewhat ludicrous , lead in conjunction with the draft bill it is ap palling, and suggests mental strabismus YYlun, «however, wc haye corrected his obliquity wo would be thankful for lils support The condl
tions mentioned b) * Alpin" aie those which now prevail, and which it is the object of1 the amending bill to lender uugator) Ibis will be accomplished if those liberal minded and Inmune iYIM L V " ait up to their reputation Yssistants in the post have tacitl) acknowledged Caesar's ntjit to the things Caesar claimed as his ind rendered tlieni accordingly Permit me, however, to Inform " Ylpha' that, is far as working on Saturday afternoon is concerned, the Legislature proposos to limit Caesars claims
öectien 51 of the principal Yet provides that where the weekly half liollda« is Saturday the closing hour shall Ik» the hour of 1 o'clock Very good , then section 54 is repelled, and a new section inserted, the eighth clause of which reads -" Yo such empIo)ce ma) work overtime oí the da) of the weekly hilf holiday " This
burely, is definite, and rendir«, the half holiday
It íb not mv intention, Yir 1 ditor, to review the clauses of tilt bill further , the near future v/ill no doubt give birth to i host of Jeremiahs if we are to judge the passa0c of this bill with its slaughtered predecessor, with whom it ii practically identical In conclusion, however, 1 would say tliat tlio administration of this or any similar measure will never give adequate lclief while titc onus of its application rests so much upon those whom it is intended to benefit The foiegolng must not be construed as a back
li inded compliment to the department for to it» ollicerj, we ore much indebted, but to this writers mind the appointment of an inspector sclelv for night work constitutes a vital notes
-I am, sir, Ac, FACTORY 'AND.
Sir,-Y'our correspondent of to-day (" Omega"),
in his reply to " Alpha," makes some most I remarkable statements. As '* Omega" has put ' forward a case for Ihe employer, it is but rea- sonable to request a little space for the em- ployee in reply. But flnst 1 would point out to " Omega" that In his correction of "Alpha's" mistakes he (" Omega") has apparently not grasped" the full effect which the proposed re- peal of clause 53 would have. " Omega" only mentions Saturday afternoons as being affected It is easily seen Hut " Omega" is a Brisbane resident ; he doesn't worry about the country towns. Many of the latter towns have their
weekly half-holidays upon a day .other than I Saturday. The amended Act secures the half holiday to the assistants even when a statutory holiday occurs during the same week : and quite right, too. In the matter of trade, the old system has completely failed. The idea was that when a statutory holiday occurred the regulation half-holiday should be surrendered to the shopkeeper to enable him to make his ?weekly returns up. That It has completely failed the shopkeeper knows quite as well as the shop assistant. The general public (the shopping public) have got Eo used to seeing the shops closed on Saturday afternoon (in Brisbane) time it regulates its purchasing accordingly, and Saturday afternoon trading is, to use a trade term, " u "frost." One fact is patent : that when tiie law clo-es all shops of any particular class (always allowing reasonable shopping
hours) no one suffers.
" Omega" e-lair.is that Saturday afternoon is. necessary for some businesses-to wit, the' grocery. He says the public require their wants supplied and delivered every week, whether a public holiday occurs or not. Doe« "Omega" think that the public of Brisbane have not had their
want« supplied for the past' six years of Saturday
half holida) s in Brisbane In each year the avtrage of Saturda) evening trading compared with saturday evcuings closed is one to 5
Omega talks about the grocer idopting the motoi deliver) van s)»tem und goes on about Hie AmerlPin hustler There Is not any need for Omega to get e\clted about the result
Ys soon as the public realise that the) cannot buy provisions on Saturday afternoon (nor all day fcundav) the) take good care to purel ase early Yt piesent the grocers agree not to attempt to deliver pin chases, made after lo o clock on Snurdu) Do the) lose one rasher of bacon 01 one ounce of tea therob) ? Go into some of the flnoi stores and ask the smiling proprietors how much mono) the) have los since carl) closing was tKed b) Statute law lsk the met chant prince of Bn-binc (the gentle
min who helped to wreck the Amendment Bill in the Upper House) how muc*i mone) he has lost in his business anice early closing was adopted sis, }tara ago lint tentlennu his in some fiftcin )ears built up a business which would bo a credit to any merchant of Aua .tralia 1 challenge that gentleman to den) that he has made infinite!) more mone) during the six jeal s of earl) closing than in the preceding nine j ears
How can It be said that reasonable early clos ing provisions reduce the demand for goods, that i )ear with a few holidays in it would be a lean )cai while a )car without holidays would be a fat one 1 On this basis what for tunes we would all make if all shops opened on Sundii)s and work and commerce went on night and da) 1 It is not inanv )cars since the butchers shops wire open for business on Sun dey mornings and the employes were worked most unmerciful hours Now these shops clos-» at n pm Monda)« Tuesdays Thursdays lu day» 1 o clock \Yednesda)s, omi S ocloik batur da) s
The "Omegas of the earl) dava were quito sure that the people must have their meat sup plied on Sunday morning Suppose the butchers decide to close at 5 pm Saturdays will
Omega ' lose Ins Sunda) chop and shoulder of mutton ? YY ill the public cat less meat, and tike to o)sters and stout 1 Suppose the drapers ind grocers iic decide that 0 p m Drldi) night is late enough (country towns are only allowed 0 o clock Saturday night when the half holida) is held in the middle of the week), does Omega believe that the general public will cat less and wear less than before ! Is
Omega aware of the fact that Yntliony Hoi
deni und Sons S)dne) do the biggest retail trade in Australasia without an) late night ? Is Omega nvvaro tint no late night at all is observed in Ydelude? Omega thinks fifty si\ hours ii week a fur thins, YYhv for many jeal» (Ift-v three liours has been the regula tlon shop lions tiorl ed (exclusive of overtime)
And Omega Is foolish cuoufch to compare the shop employees hours with those of the mechanic, and the factor) hind who have mostlj an eight hour day und no 1 ite nights And the mechanic and the factor) hand have not the brain worry of the shop assistant who lins lo stand behind a counter and bittle with the willina and fancies of the erinkv customers who leiven every shopping coniinunil) Ynd »s for
Omegi s concern for the nerves of the poor shop ussistint who will hive to hustle to (,et through with the same amount of business in i little lees time (about foi ty hours in one whole veil) Omefeii need not wony The shop as istunt revels in a busy div time flies, ind customers are more reasonable But when business is slack and customers aie few tin s langs heavllv Omega Is strongl) advised not to let the new bill come Ictvvein him and his nights rest flic shopkeeper will still get the same amount out of his employees nil the same ictuin from the si ipping | ulillc YYlmc
Omega does not seem to leillsc Is this lho world is niiving round lite wheel of piogiesy, Is ever rolling onward, and he is hut «a It) clinging to its spokes. \vc Oniegi -I am,
S"' l Hl/MYNlTAimN
Brisbane September 4
Sir,-I am pleased to 'te that the columns of vour papel aie open as usual to opinions on subjects that nltcet eel min members of th* trading public I read the lcttcts of Alpin ind Omegi of the 2nd und 3rd instants le
spectivelv both having lefercncc lo the I- ictoties and Shops Amendment Bill now ibout to beeomo law, and the) both have done fur justice lo theil aitumeiito so fir na the shoe pinches them or as their pleasuie and pockets me illected But the) renamed fiom making iinv keneial ielciente Huit would be to the interests of cmplo)ei oi employee othit- thim in the grocen business Now I will ask )oui indulgence m this îespect lo sa) a wold foi the haiidresveis, who, although belnt. most nectssar) factoi-s to the public, arc denied legislative protection under the principal Act 01 unv othci \et as the shops they work in are, so fit, evciupt fiom the piovisions of that measure YY eli as an employ ei, I ask the question fianlly YMiy should this si ile of limit,-, exist mid how is it that they ure so evclu led i flic« nie sub jeet to the Ioni,cst mo-t ti) ina; and monoton oils boura of unv other employee« Hie grocer h assistant is piotected li) Hie law and Ins Ins bitiirdii) iftei noons to enjo) himself Ins cm plover is relieved from the strun of bsisine-,8, while Iheir fellow-men m Hie hairdiesciiig loth employer and employee hive lo work on tint da) up lo 11 o clock at nitjit Some of those »hop» are not too well venilla! d lins class of labour should be reejginswl tin I brought under tie provisions of The I letones ititi Shops Yet Hie only absolute holulivs a hairdresser gets is Cood Iridav and Christum I)ty, mil these aie ohtilned bv proclamation and total!) in dependent of the Yin that governs shops and fletones It is a tangled pu-c/lc to many why -this Yet docs not take in the hulidicssing
business YY hut have this class of men been
guilty of to merit such treatment -
«JIM CAVILL. September 0. 'i'''«""1 '-..