THE ADELAIDE ELECTION.
To the Kditor.
Sir — Recognising the weakness of the Liberal candidates for Adelaide, my col- leagues and I have been speaking in other centres, and whilst I was at Tailcm Bend in the Albert district, this week. I noticed a letter in your paper signed by Mrs. Goode, wherein she makes certain untrue statements about myself. Still, I suppose
one or two 'fibs' from that wonderful lady will not make much difference. Mrs. Goode attempts to justify her action in refusing to vote for the unfortunate State girls to have their wages raised from 2/. by saying that 'it is not wages, but pocket money only.' Suppose I admit that, was not the increased money as well in the girls' pocket as in the mistress's pocket? Not wages, says Mrs. Goode, but it was work, and hard work for these girls; no limitation of hours, no limitation of work, but do as they were told, at any time of the day or night, and if they refused, the child would be sent back to the State and marked 'unsuitable.' Later on when the child was nearly eighteen years of age, her term of imprisonment would be increased until she was 21, no notice being given to the child or the parent of the intention to increase the sentence. The sentence was for no offences whatever, unless it may be that some lady who had one of these girls for years as a domestic, did not want to lose what Mr. Hall, S.M., properly styled 'a little slave.' Mrs. Goode says by raising the salary of these giris from 2/ per week, I would debar wives of working men and poor widows from their help and companionship. I have no hesi- tation in saying that - no person receives any consideration from me who wants a little slave for 2/ per week, doing washing and ironing, general housework, getting supper at nights when 'milady' and her pals come -ihome from their evening's entertainment. &c. Mrs. Goode cannot get away from her 2/ vote in. that way. What about the other ladies who are members of the State Children's Council who voted with me to increase the wages from 2/? Does Mrs. Goode say that when these ladies voted with me that they were depriving the 'workers' wives' and 'poor widowe' of help and companionship? Does Mrs. Goode say that these ladies, who have been longer in the council than herself, did not know that it was a proper thing to do to raise the wages of these girls? I have no hesitation in saying that it is to the noble women who have for many years done grand service, without fee or reward, without Iheir names being al- ways in the papers, or without appearing on public platforms to tell of their great work, that our best thanks are due for the altered conditions for State children, and not to Mrs. Goode, who says 2/ per Week is sufficient payment for an unfortu- nate child to do all sorts of work and at all hours. Will Mrs. Goode deny that only recently I had to have a minute car- ried informing applicants for child labor that the children were not expected to do heavy laundry and domestic work? Will she tell me how many of the workers' wives and poor widows in the Adelaide district have the 2/ per week slave? Mrs. Goode says, 'It is not well-off people who have these young girls in their homes.' I shall be pleased if Mrs. Goode tells me how many are employed in the workers' homes of the Adelaide district. Surely Mrs- Goode has not forgotten the case she tried to make out for the chil- dren to receive only the 2/ when I moved for the increase in the council? Has she forgotten all the arguments she used then, or shall I have to jog her memory? Mrs. Goode also says in her letter, 'Did not a. released prisoner state on oath that he was employed by Mr. Edwards as a cement worker for eight weeks, and all he received was £12?' Poor Mrs. Goode, whatever makes her write such piffle? Why did she not read what was said before the Royal Commissioner before die foolishly put her name to a letter in 'The Advertiser?' Or, is it that she is so keen upon having the limelight that she does not care whe- ther her statements are true or not? Let me repeat that no such statement was ever made. It is true that I did give employ- ment to_ certain released prisoners; that I did give a home to four released men, and so that they could be employed over the Christmas holidays I did em- ploy a released carpenter for the fortnight, and paid him £26 8/4. I did employ a released cement worker for the same firm, and paid him over £20, in addition to finding him his meals and his bed in the same home as myself. It is also true that the cement worker had an assis- tant. When he was going home I offered him £20. He took £10, and had £2 previously from me. He said he did not want to make it a 'welter' on me, but no released prisoner has ever said on oath before the Royal Commis- sion anything like what Mrs. Goode suggests, whatever released prisoners have told her when tiiey have been out at her own home. Mrs. Goode is much interested in the prisoners that were released, and how much I paid to them. May I ask if she has ever employed State girls in her home, and if she will tell your readers how the wages I paid to released men compare with those she has paid to State girls (if she has at any time employed State girls)? Your correspondent further states, 'He sup ported the idea of reducing the age for the protection of girls in criminal as sault from 16 years to 13 years.' That statement is a 'beauty.' I am sur prised to hear even Mrs. Goode use it. I will reply to Mrs. Goode on sexual and other questions at my meet- ings in Adelaide next week after I have finished speaking in other districts that are harder for the Lohor candidates than my easy one. — I am, &c., A. A. EDWARDS.