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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

News From Overseas

News From Overseas.

That great difficulty confronts anyone who seeks to draw hard and fast lines between different classes of returned soldiers is seen, by Senator G F. Pearce, Minister for Defence, who (says the Melbourne "Herald") has been pressed to make a sharp distinction between returned men who have actually been in the firing line, and tho Se who have not. The Minister, when seen, declined to say whether he was prepared to give preference in employment to men who had been in the firing line, but he said that he was thinking the matter over carefully. He recognised that many men who had not been in the firing line had not withheld themselves, but had been required by superior authority to do duty in other spheres. Also, there were men who had been disabled while in training camps in England, who, had they been more fortunate, would have gone to the firing line. He did not consider that men who had taken merely one trip on a transport should be regarded as returned soldiers.

During 1917, Mr G. H Knibbs, the Commonwealth Statistician, shows, there were no fewer than 444 industrial disputes in-Australia. These involved 173,970 employes, and the loss in wages amounted to £2,641,735.

Details of what is said to be a new world's shearing recod are published in the "Wellington Post". Shearing at Mr. J. M'Carten's shed, Tarhape, New Zealand, W Vella one day had a tally of 339, or six more than the previous-record, held by Riano, who worked on lambs; Vella shore large ewes. At the same shed, J. Skinner had a tally of 304.

The official estimate of South Australia's. wheat crop for 1917-18 is 26,058,999 bushels. The quantity of wheat produced in the past ten seasons has averaged 18 793,547 bushels.

Official figures to Feb. 28th, 1918, show that New South Wales has contributed more than £3 500,000 to differernt war funds in that State including Australia Day, £838,041; Citizen's War Chest, £358, 162; and Lord Major's Fund £216, 847.

In the "British Australasian" it is stated, on the authority of Mr. H J. Long, Press correspondent of the Australian Munition Workers' Association, that there are roughly 3,000 skilled Australian munition workers, and some 2,000 war workers, in factories and arserals throughout Great Britain. "The hours of work are from 53 to 80 hours per week, 70 being an average. The rate of pay varies. In the London district it is 9 3/4d., plus war bonuses of 4.42d. per hour. As the Australian rate is 8d. per hour, it will be readily seen that munition-making for the Australian does not spell money-making. From information he has gathered, Mr. Long finds that an average of £5 per week is being earned by the members of his association throughout England, although a few are earning by piece-work £10 and £12 weekly. This excludes any unskilled men who have come with the war workers. The starting wage for skilled men is, in some districts, as low as £3 I2s."