No. 220. Melbourne, December, 1888.. Price 2d.
Circulating throughout the Printing Trade in the Colonieb of Victoria, New South Waleb, Queenbland, South Aubtralia, Tabmania,
and New Zealand.
Strike at the "Register" Office.
Adelaide, 26 th November.
The event of the month has been, as you already know, the strike at the Register office. Briefly, the circumstances are as follow:—
At one of our meetings, when the consideration of the block question was on, Mr. J. J. Grant strongly opposed any compromise
of the matter. At a subsequent meeting he stated that he had been told that those who "went for the blocks were marked men,
and that he was one." About three weeks ago he received a fortnight's notice from the general manager (Mr. G. Wilson). He
went to Mr. Wilson to see what he had done to deserve this, and Mr. Wilson said he was reducing the companionship, and he
would give him no other reason; that there were others to go, and they would get no other reason. He, however, on being pressed,
said Grant was a "dissatisfied man" and a "nuisance." Mr. Wilson, however, did not take any exception to his character or
competency. Grant subsequently wrote a note to Mr. Wilson asking him for a certificate of character and competency, as he
had said he did not take exception to either; and he also asked that the real reason of his dismissal might be stated. To
this Mr. Wilson replied that he had nothing further to add to what he said at the interview. The companionship then took the
matter up, and a deputation was appointed to ask Mr. Wilson for a certificate for Grant, and for the reason of his dismissal.
They succeeded in getting a certificate to the effect that Grant had been in the office nine years, and was "a sober, intelligent,
and competent news hand." Mr. Wilson, however, took up the positron that he would give no reason for his dismissal. He. ultimately
said Grant was "an all-round objectionable man;" The deputation said they would like to lay the matter before the proprietors.
Mr. W. replied that he did not think they would receive a deputation—at any rate, not until Mt. Finlayson came back, and probably
not until Mr. Day, who was on his return from England, was here. The return of our delegates from Melbourne about this time
with the information that Mr. L. Cooper, the night overseer, had stated that certain members of the Register office were to be discharged if the Society insisted on the blocks being paid for was taken as corroborating the report that
had been in circulation for some time, and that was sup-posed to receive confirmation by Grant's dismissal without any reason
except that the companionship was being reduced, and that there were others to follow. The deputation, however, reported the
result of the interview with Mr. Wilson, and it was resolved to write to the proprietors asking an interview. To this request
the proprietors replied, fixing 3.30 on Monday as the time. The matter seeming a serious one, no one "dissed" on Monday, pending
the result of the interview. On the matter being laid before the proprietors, they said they had con-fidence in Mr. Wilson,
and thought he could be relied on to be fair. After some time the deputation said it was important that the reason should
be given, because there were suspicions, and they said they had refrained from mentioning this because they did not want to
do so if it could be done without. They then told the proprietors that it was reported that certain members of the Typographical
Society employed in the Register office were to be sacrificed for the part they took in Society affairs. The proprietors denied any knowledge of Society affairs
beyond what came before them officially; and they said they would want time to look into the matter. The deputation left with
the promise that a reply would be sent next day. On Tuesday the following reply was received:—
Adelaide, 20th November, 1888.
To the Secretary Register Chapel.
Dear Sir,—Having given careful consideration to the question raised by the deputation from the Register companionship· yesterday, and having made full inquiry as to the matter at issue, we beg to say that the suggestion that
Mr. Grant was discharged because of his alleged activity in connection with the Typographical Society is absolutely without
foundation, and that it was not even within the knowledge of the manager that he was an active or leading member.
Mr. Grant's services have been dispensed with—in connection with the reduction of the staff, which has become necessary—entirely
on account of conduct in the office, which, while-not in the opinion of the management at the time rendering an immediate
dismissal necessary or disentitling him to an ordinary recommendation as a competent workman, on his leaving, amply justified
the manager in selecting him in making the reduction.
We are, dear sir, faithfully yours, W. K. Thomas And Co.
This was submitted to the chapel, and having placed the matter in the hands of the Board for advice, they did not express
any opinion on it, but waited to know what the Board thought. The Board did not consider the reply satisfactory, and instructed
the chapel to require Grant's reinstatement. When the father returned to the chapel meeting to announce the decision, the
members present had been increased by about a dozen, and on the reply of the proprietors being read and the decision of the
Board announced, a difference of opinion arose as to whether the reply should be considered satisfactory or not, and it was
ultimately agreed that the Board should be asked to lay the whole matter before the general meeting on Saturday. It was also
agreed that the following letter should be forwarded to the
"Register" Office, 21st November, 1888.
To the Proprietors of Register.
Gentlemen,—I beg to acknowledge your favour of yesterday's date, re Mr. J. J. Grant's dismissal from the Register office. In reply, I am directed to forward the following resolution, carried unanimously at a special meeting held yesterday
evening:—"That this companionship press for a reason for Mr. Grant's dismissal; and while accepting the assurance of the proprietors
that Mr. Grant's dismissal was not due to his action in Society affairs, so far as they are aware, they will still feel want
of confidence in Mr. Wilson, unless the real reason of Mr. Grant's dismissal is stated."—
Yours, &C., Thos. J. M'Kenzie, Clerk of Chapel
Nothing further would have been said until the Saturday meeting had not the proprietors drawn up an agreement to give a fortnight's
notice on either side; but allowing them the right to dismiss a man for "misconduct" or incompetency. This agreement a number
of the men were prevailed upon to sign before it became generally known that there was such a thing. On Thursday morning,
however, the night overseer, Mr. L. Cooper, announced that the agreement was open for signature till 6 p.m. This looking like
a challenge, the matter was reported to the Executive, who convened a meeting for Thursday evening to consider the aspect
of affairs. At this meeting the determination was arrived at to demand the reinstatement of Grant and the withdrawal of the
agreement, the Executive being required to proceed at once and inform the proprietors that if these things were not done the
men would be withdrawn on the finish of the night's work. To the message, when delivered, the proprietors said they had no
reply, and they took exception to the way in which it was conveyed to them, stating that it should have come through the Master
Printers' Association. The men who had signed the agreement, I may say, nearlyall withdrew their names when they found that
their action was wrong. On Friday morning the overseer did not announce any copy hour, and the father having received no communication
from the proprietors, it was understood that the men were to be allowed to go out. Some of the members, however, would not
come out, and, with the assistance of ex-comps. in the reporting staff, apprentices, and a few outsiders who had left the
trade, the paper was got out on Saturday. In addition to those who stayed in, several have gone back, the manager holding
out the inducement that it was "a frame for life," and that it had been resolved to carry on the office without any reference
to the Society—like the Times in London. Some who have not previously worked in the office have also thought the offer good enough to accept. The Register, on Friday morning, advertised permanent employment to non-Society hands, but, so far as I can tell at present, all the men
at present in the office were members of the Society before the strike. There are over forty members of the late companion-ship
out on strike.
From information received, it appears that the Register had been preparing for a breach with the Society for a month before this occurred. Our new scale of charges is nearly ready
for sub-mission to the master printers—in fact, last Saturday was originally intended for their final consideration. The meeting
on Saturday, however, was occupied with the consideration of the event that had just occurred, and the Vice-President and
Secretary of the Trades and Labour Council were present by invitation. They considered that the Society had a much better
case than the Register s account of the affair would lead one to believe; and it was resolved to ask the Council to call a special meeting to consider
the position, the Executive to attend to explain matters. The men on strike are to receive £2 15s. per week if married, and £2 if single. The terms are exceptionally liberal, but the circumstances are regarded as warranting that. It was also resolved
that a levy of 5 per cent, on the earnings of all liable for full subscriptions should be made, to assist in meeting the demands
on the funds. I believe a meeting of the Trades and Labour Council is to be held on Tuesday evening, when possibly some suggestions
will be made by the Council with a view to re-adjusting matters.
Adelaide, 30th November. The Register is still being got out by a staff composed of the men who stayed in, some six or seven who have gone back, reporters (once
comps.), old-ex-printers, men belonging to other departments of the office (once comps.), and apprentices and boys. In addition
to these there are about half-a-dozen men who have turned up from various places and two or three of our local casual hands.
Admission to the office is by ticket, and as much secrecy as possible is observed with regard to what goes on and who are
The long hours are beginning to tell on some of them, and unless they get other hands the men will have a still worse time
of it than hitherto, as we are informed by a deserter that the type is nearly all out of the cases, and they will have to
dis. to keep going.
A man named T, Borthwick went in last night, but I am informed that he was discharged as soon as he had done his first take.
If this is true we will have to make an example of him. The "permanent employment" idea makes some greenhorns think that they
will be secured for life.
Black List. The following, I believe, is a complete list up to date of those in the Register office:—
Stayed In Altogether: W. G. White(reader) J. S. Knox
S. F. Aitchison W. Masters
R. Rusk F. Monk
J. Sutherland J. Anderson
W. Arnold J. Mann
J. F Scott H. A. Thorpe G. Cockburn
M. Wraight-Miller F. Powell (29th)
J. Stack (26th) J. G. 'Norman,
E. D. Noon (29th)
Outside Local Men Gone In:
J. J. Styles (25th)T. Borthwick (29th)
J. Young A Pratt
[All the above names have been struck off the books of the S. A. Typographical Society.]
W. Summers — Dumas
W. A. E. Summers H. Faweett
E. Summers A. Maclymont
Martin — Parsons
Ross F. Wilkinson
Caird ("Gentle Shepherd") C. Williams, sen.
Our Queensland Letter.
Brisbane, 26th November.
During the month the jobbing offices have only been moderately brisk. At the close of the session over twenty hands left the
Government Printing Office, some of whom drew their cards and journeyed South, but the majority remained in Brisbane, and
are now among the unemployed.
When the Association was re-established in 1884, about a dozen of the Government Printing Office staff declined to join. One
after another has entered our ranks, and at the meeting of the Board, held on the 10th instant, the last two were admitted,
a nominal fee of £1 2s. 6d. being imposed. With the exception of W. Eastwood, who was expelled during the month for non-payment of subscriptions,
the only non-society typos in Brisbane are those employed in Messrs. Pole, Outridge and Co.'s closed office, with whom C.
S. Farren, from Sydney, has recently cast his lot.
The balance-sheet of the Charters Towers branch shows an income for the first quarter of £15 11s. 9d; expenditure, only 8s.; leaving £15 3s. 9d. in hand.
On Saturday, 10th instant, Mr. J. T. Costigan occupied the chair at a meeting of the Toowoomba compositors, convened at the
instance of Mr. N. M'Kenzie, a member of the Board of Management, who was on a visit to that town. Mr. M'Kenzie addressed
the meeting upon the objects of the Society, and urged the advisableness of establishing a branch. A discussion ensued, and
it was decided to request the Secretary of the Association to forward information relative to the working of branches, and
the position of branch members in regard to the unemployed and funeral benefits.
A second meeting was held on Saturday last, 24th instant, when it was unanimously decided to establish a branch, and eleven
members were enrolled. Officers were elected as follows:—President, Mr. J. Costigan; Treasurer, Mr. C. S. W.
Robinson; Secretary, Mr. J. E. Stone. Messrs. Wilson and White were appointed to act on the local committee with the officers.
Mr. P. M'Laghlan, who is at present in Townsville, has resigned the secretaryship of the Charters Towers branch, and Mr. W.
G. Bowden has been appointed to the position. The Northern Miner and Towers Herald are now worked on piece, and the rule that no boys shall be employed on daily papers is recognized in these offices. In a
recent issue the Miner says:— "Our staff is now complete. We have a team of lightning compositors, who can lick creation. They are fast all round.
Since the piecework began the silence of the grave has fallen upon the office—few words and all work is the order of the night."
The members of the Ipswich branch have succeeded in getting the minimum wage for that town increased by IOS. from the 1st
December. The letter from the proprietors of the Queensland Times, notifying their employés of their intention to give the advance, concludes thus:—"We cordially reciprocate your statement as to the good feeling which
has always existed between you and ourselves, and we see no reason why that good feeling should not continue in the future."
None of our branches have been in existence six months, yet every one has secured material advantages for its members, and
in at least four towns the boy evil, which was assuming alarming proportions, has been checked.
Our new scale came into force on the 19th. All the offices are paying the advances, and everything is running as smoothly
as before the alterations were mooted. On the same date the list of prices adopted by the Master Printers' Association took
effect. To prevent "ratting," a penalty of £10 is to be imposed upon any member charging his customers less than scale price.
The ballot to decide whether the Q.T. A. should send a delegate to the Intercolonial Trades' Congress of 1889, the expenditure
not to exceed £30, was examined at a special meeting of the Board held on Saturday last. Result: For sending a delegate, 189; against, 54;
majority in the affirmative, 134. The returns from Charters Towers were received too late to be included in the ballot. This
being a financial question, only members of three months' standing were eligible to vote. This circumstance affected to a
considerable extent the numbers polled by the branches, which were as follow:—Bundaberg: for, 10; against, nil. Charters Towers: for, 22; against, nil. Rockhampton: for, 28; against, nil. Townsville: for, 15; against, 1.
At the last meeting of the Lithographers, Bookbinders, and Machine Rulers' Society, a motion was passed agreeing to join the
Queensland Typographical Association as a branch; three-pence per week of each member's subscription to be retained for the
working expenses of the branch, and the remaining six-pence to be paid into the general fund of the Association. Many of our
members regard the proposal with great favour, believing that as we work together in the same buildings, and for the same
employers, there is no reason why we should not unite for the protection of our common interests. Before the affiliation can
take place, however, it will be necessary for alterations to be made in one or two of our rules. This matter should receive
the careful consideration of every member of the Society.
Our Sydney Letter.
Sydney, 24th November. Trade still dull. About twenty men out. The large influx from New Zealand is mainly the cause of the surplus labour in Sydney
at the present time, and it will shortly be a matter for the serious consideration of the Australian Unions as to whether
a per capita tax should not be placed on all compositors arriving in these colonies from New Zealand within a certain period. The trade
("profession" we were once justified in naming it) in New Zealand is at the present time a wretchedly-paid occupation, and
we can hardly reproach New Zealand compositors for leaving a colony so much affected with boy and girl labour; but, to be
true to ourselves, even at the risk of being considered uncharitable, we must place an obstacle in the way of men who, instead
of remaining in New Zealand to assist in raising the trade above its present low condition, leave for Australia as soon as
an opportunity is given them. Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane have quite enough to do to provide employment for
the many compositors who come from the country districts of their respective colonies, without being encumbered by the men
who serve their apprenticeship in New Zealand. If New Zealanders can subsist without employment for a time in their own country,
parents must become aware of the poverty-stricken state of the trade, and will not then jeopardize the future of their sons
and daughters by apprenticing them to the printing trade. Leaving New Zealand will not improve matters, for boys and girls
are taken on in place of the emigrants, and so the evil continues. Unless our New Zealand friends wish to bring the trade
in Australia down to their own level by flooding our markets with surplus labour, they should remain in their own country
and strenuously endeavour to acquaint parents of the future in store for their sons and daughters. No parents would willingly
place their offspring at the trade were they aware that the child, when out of its apprenticeship, would only receive 30s.
or £2 per week. The remedy therefore remains in the hands of the New Zealanders, who, if too poor to undertake the duty of warning
parents in the different towns, should apply to each of the Australian societies, who would be compelled, for their own protection,
to assist in a movement having for its object the emancipation of the trade in New Zealand. One thing is certain: that we
in Sydney cannot find employment for the vast number of new arrivals from New Zealand, and something or somebody must go--the
usual rate of wage, or the unem-ployed comp.
Intercolonial Printers' Conference.—Our delegates (Messrs. Chas. Jones and W. G. Higgs) have returned to Sydney, and speak
in high praise of the splendid reception accorded the Intercolonial Conference delegates by the Melbourne Typo-graphical Society.
The handsome treatment they received will not be forgotten by the N.S.W. Typographical Society, and will go a long way to
increase the federal spirit which is at work amongst its members at the present time. Great hopes are expressed that the alteration
in the constitution of the Union, as proposed by the Conference, will be effected at an early date. There will then be no
obstacle to the New South Wales Association joining an organization which must, on account of its representative character,
exercise a vast influence for the benefit of "ye mysterious art" in this part of the world..
Fire in "Evening News" Office.—A fire occurred in the Evening News office, Market-street, on Saturday evening, the 24th inst. Notwithstanding the efforts of the various fire brigades, the
office was completely gutted, the damage being estimated by the Messrs. Blunt at £60,000. £32,000 of this sum is covered by insurance. The Evening News companion-ship has suffered with the rest in the loss of composing sticks, stools, aprons, docks for three days' work, &c.
The Evening News proprietary have received numerous offers of assistance from the newspaper proprietors; there is, therefore, no probability of a cessation of the publication of either Evening News or Town and Country Journal.
Our Launceston Letter.
Launceston, 18th November.
Several comps. have cleared from here lately, but the vacancies caused by this have been quickly filled, the offices being
A pleasing ceremony was performed at the Examiner office the other day, the proprietor, Mr. Henry Button, being. the recipient of an illuminated address from the employés of that establishment, the presentation being made by Mr. W. Horne, editor. This in itself speaks for the high esteem in
which Mr. Button is held by his employés.
Mr. W. Watkin, an old Tasmanian, and formerly of New Zealand, returned to Launceston a few days ago. He was at one time Secretary
of the New Zealand Typographical Union.
Melbourne Typographical Society.
A Special General Meeting will be held at the Trades' Hall, Carlton, on Saturday, 15th December, at 3.30 p.m. sharp, for the
purpose of adopting and confirming the Newspaper Scale (morning, evening, and weekly), and ordering the issue of same.
S. T. STEVENS, Secretary.
Dry.—On the 8th November. 1888, at 4 Blanche-terrace, Queensberry- street, North Melbourne, the wife of T. B. Dry of a son.
Dunstan.—On the 16th November, 1888, at n Little Dorrit-street, Carlton, the wife of William Dunstan, jun., of a son.
Lutzen—On the 29th October, 1888, at 67 Karlsburg-road, South Yarra, the
wife of J. H. Lützen of a daughter.
Pullin.—On the 19th October, 1888, at Milawa House, 22 Chetwynd-str eet, North Melbourne, the wife of George A. Pullin of a son.
Batten—Godwin.—On the 30th October, 1888, at the Presbyterian Church, Wickliffe, by the Rev. J. H. Marshall, Robert Bromell, eldest son
of William Henry Batten, of Ballarat, to Jean, youngest daughter of the late Henry Godwin, of Ararat.
Upton—Donnelly.—On the 6th November, 1888, at St. Mary's Church, St. Kilda, by the Rev. J. L. Hegarty, Michael, only son of Denis Upton,
of South Australia, to Mary Donnelly, of Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland.
Walker—Sturtevant.—On the 24th November, 1888, by the Rev. E. Orlando Knee, at the residence of the bride's parents, Mark Albert, fifth son
of John Walker, to Lily Annie, youngest daughter of Buxton Sturtevant, both of North Fitzroy.
Kingham.—On the 28th October, 1888, at Duke-street, off Chapel-street, Balaclava, of phthisis pulmonalis, William James, the beloved
husband of Louise Kingham, and second eldest son of R. J. Kingham, Windsor, aged 31 years.
Nias.—On 17th November, at Molesworth-street, Wellington, after a painful illness, Geo. E. Nias, aged 72 years.
Vauhhan.—On 29th October, 188?, at Brougham-street, Wellington, New Zealand, Edgar Graham, second and youngest son of F. A. (Evening Post staff) and Ettie Vaughan, aged 5 years and 10 months.
Melbourne Typographical Society.
Members.—The following should have appeared clear on the last list of members:—F. Lord, J. Poile, William Smith, Charles Reilly,
J. A. M. Stewart, M. Upton, A. Curnick, F. Mitchell.
Board Members.—The name of the representative of Messrs. Edgerton and Moore's office'(Mr. James Lane) was inadvertently omitted from the
S. T. Stevens, Secretary.
Queensland Typographical Association.
For quarter ending 30th September, brauch remittances have been received as follows:—Bundaberg, £3 10s. 6d.; Chariers Towers, £3 3s. 6d.; Rockhampton, £3 19s. 6d.
Thos. W. Crawford, Secretary.
Letters are lying at the rooms, Trades' Hall, for the undermentioned:— Chas. J. Ellis, S. J. Fergusson, ? Andrews, E. Daniel,
R. Gough, G. R Bird, Albert Mason, George Griffin, W. Vespermann, — Burley, and S. B. Campbell (urgent).
S. B. Campbell.—You are requested to communicate with Secretary at once.
Collectors are repectfully notified that final accounts must be paid in on or before the 9th January, 1889, otherwise they
will not appear in the balance-sheet.
Melbourne Typographical Society.
The following amounts have been received since the publication of last list:—Age, £48 95.; Argus, £33 18s. 3d.; Daily Telegraph, £21 17s. 6d.; G. P. Office, £16 10s.; Herald, £28 15s.; Victorian Farmers' Gazette, £1 15s.; Duffus Bros., £2 10s. 6d.; Arnall and Jackson, 15s.; Fergusson and Mitchell, £12 19s. 6d.; Edgerton and Moore, £5 14s. 3d.; Rae Bros., £2 1s.; Stillwell and Co., £5 5s.; Mason, Firth and M'Cutcheon, £13 13S. 3d.; Sands and M'Dougall, £19 13s.; M'Carron, Bird and Co., £24; Dunn and Wilkinson, £5 0s. 6d.; M'Kinley and Co., 16s.; Centennial Printing Company, £20 5s. 9d.; Walker, May and Co., £7 9s. 9d.; Massina and Co., £3 11s.; Pegg, Chapman and Co., £2 15s.; Troedel and Co., £5 15s.
S. T. Stevens, Secretary.
The Australasian Typographical Journal.
Registered As A Newspaper.]
Melbourne, December, 1888.
Trade is in an unsettled state, owing, no doubt to the excitement over the land boom having somewhat subsided. The influx
of compositors is also still very great.
A meeting of the Application Committee of the Board of Management of the Melbourne Typographical Society was held at the Trades'
Hall on Thursday, 15th November. The President (Mr. Geo. Jordan) occupied the chair, and the following members were also present:—Messrs.
J. Hancock (Vice-President), W. E. Bullivant, J. H. Field, R. Tuffield, J. A. Walker, and the Secretary. The following were
recommended for admission to the Society:—A. M'Micken, A. T. Hoy, S. T. Barker (£5), S. Donnellan (£10), J. Artell (increased entrance fee), J. Lees (£1), J. A. Hobson, H. Acton (increased entrance fee), C. T. Hall (£5), ? Walker, H. A. Doherty, T. F. Bennie, F. W. Dimmock, J. J. Williams, G. Pamment (conditionally), M. Gillespie (conditionally),
E.Mackney (conditionally), J. Radcliffe, S. Hall, H. Kingsmill, J. Plunkett, T. R. Cox, J. Arbuckle. The following were admitted
with clearances:—T. Wilkinson, T. O'Hare, L. Sparrow, E. Daniel, W. A. Bums, G. Thornton, J. E. Fraser, F. Groves, H. Cameron,
D. White, H. Tytherleigh, J. M'Donald, J. Kennedy, P. D. Brown, T. F. Anderson, W. Finch, A. H. Mackay, J. Imrie, S. Hoare.
The following were postponed:—N. Coxon, R. Betts, A. Vile, A. M'Kain, P. ?. Lindsay, F. Smith, G. Dommett, T. Webb, T. Taylor,?.
L. Cox, H. Gettings (since left), Ε. Η. Heywood, W. Phillips, W. J. Grainger, P. O'Brien. The name of C. P. Davies was recommended
to be struck off the list of members, he having gone to work at the Bendigo Independent, a closed office.
The ordinary meeting of the Board of Management of the Melbourne Typographical Society was held at the Trades' Hall on Saturday,
17th November; Mr. Geo. Jordan (President) in the chair. Present:—Messrs. J. Hancock (Vice-President), J. C. Bolger (Trustee),
A. W. Arnold, E. G. T. Atkinson, J. W. Baker, J. H. Field, T. Huggan, ? Johnston, J. Mackay, H. Rasdell, J. Sayers, E. Slater,
J. A. Walker, S. Webb, J. Fen-ton, R. Tuffield, T. Sanderson, J. F. Daley, W. E. Bullivant, J. Macnee, T. Lawrence, T. R.
Haslam, H. Longfield, J. Lane, J. Ryan, T, Winstanley, R. J. Bishop, A. S. Hunter, and the Secretary. Mr. W. G. Higgs (Secretary
of the New South Wales Typographical Association), who was received with applause, was accommodated with a seat on the right
of the President. He briefly thanked members for their cordial reception. The recommendations of the Application Committee,
as above reported, were endorsed by the Board. A letter was received from the Ironmoulders' Society, thanking the Mel-bourne
Typographical Society for further subscriptions of £25 per week. A discussion arose, on the reading of the letter, as to the position taken up by the Trades' Hall Council in
regard to the strike. It was pointed out that the Ironmoulders' Society had specially requested the Trades' Hall Council not
to take any action in the matter, hence the apparent apathy of that body. The following resolution was carried unanimously:—
"That the Board expresses its gratification at the determined stand taken by the Ironmoulders' Society in resisting the attempt
to coerce them into signing the rules of the Board of Conciliation, and requests the Ironmoulders' Society to bring the matter
before the Trades' Hall Council, with a view to obtaining further assistance." In reply to a question why the Melbourne Typographical
Society had been posted as a defaulting society for rent, the President stated that the matter had been brought before the
Trades' Hall Council on the previous Friday evening, and a resolution had been passed by that body to the effect that the
explanations of several societies, including that of their own, were perfectly satisfactory. He also stated that the amount
question was in regard to the Exhibition expenses, and not that of rent. The Secretary stated that he had informed the Secretary
of the Trades' Hall Council on the night that the resolution was passed that he had the cheque for the amount in his possession,
but that he was waiting for the signature of one of the trustees, and as soon as this was obtained he would hand it over.
This circumstance was not mentioned to the Trades' Hall Council, otherwise the Society would not have suffered the indignity
it did. Mr. J. C. Hart (manager for Messrs. Fergusson and Mitchell) was admitted as an honorary member, and Mr. J. Carne,
who had accepted the position of overseer at Messrs. Knowles and Comins', was transferred to the honorary members' list. A
vote of thanks was passed to the Executive and the Banquet Committee for the excellent manner in which they had conducted
the arrangements in connection with the banquet and the entertainment of the various delegates to the Intercolonial Conference.
The Secretary was also instructed to forward a letter to Mr. G. D. Straker, expressing satisfaction at the hand-some manner
in which that gentleman had carried out the arrangements in connection with the catering for the banquet, and also at the
uniform attention paid to the guests by the union waiters. During the meeting it was mentioned, in connection with the death
of the late Mr. W. J. Kingham, a member of the Society, that Messrs. Mason, Firth and M'Cutcheon had, in addition to presenting
that gentleman with two cheques of £5 each, paid him £1 per week for thirty-two weeks prior to his decease. The statement was received with applause. Several accounts were passed
for payment, and the meeting adjourned.
A long discussion ensued on Friday evening, 16th November, in the Trades' Hall Council, on the question of the paragraph which
appeared in the morning papers stigmatizing certain societies, amongst them that of the Typographical, as defaulters in the
matter of rent. On the minutes being read, it was found that the papers referred to had grossly and falsely misrepresented
the facts of the case. There was not one word in the motion carried which would justify the assumption that the societies
were defaulters for rent, but simply that certain amounts due for expenses over the late Exhibition had not been paid. Mr.
Geo. Jordan moved that the motion should be expunged from the minutes, but this was ruled out of order by the President. On
the minutes of the meeting being confirmed, Mr. J. C. Bolger moved for the suspension of the standing orders. On a vote being
taken, the President decided against the motion. A division was then called for, and the motion was declared carried. Mr.
S. T. Stevens (Secretary of the Society) stated that he had informed the Secretary of the Council, before the meeting on the
night the resolution was carried, that he had the cheque in his pocket, and that so soon as he obtained the signature of one
of the trustees, whom he expected that night, he would hand it over. He said he was rather surprised this explanation had
not been given to the Council. Mr. Campbell, the mover of the motion of which complaint was made, then attacked the Secretary
of the Council, and said that had the explanation given by Mr. Stevens been made to the Council by the Secretary, the motion
would never have been carried. After a discussion of about an hour and a half, the Council passed a resolution to the effect
that the explanations of several societies were perfectly satisfactory. The morning papers, however, religiously abstained
from rectifying their false statements in the report of the proceedings, simply stating that the matter was not one of rent,
but that of Exhibition expenses.
The ironmoulders' strike has at length terminated, the members of the society having succeeded in obtaining an increase in
the minimum rate of wages from 10s. to 10s. 8d. per day.
In our last number we mentioned the names of Messrs. Ellingworth and Hanstein as being the proprietors of the Richmond Courier. It should have been Messrs. Ellingworth, Clarke, and Mennear. Mr. Geo. T. Clarke is the editor of the paper in question.
It is always pleasing to be able to chronicle any act of generosity on the part of employers. During the past three months
the extreme pressure of work which the employés of the Argus office have been called upon to perform has been almost incredible, sometimes taking up copy as early as half-past three
o'clock in the afternoon, and continuing till the same hour, or later, on the following morning, the dimensions of the paper
ranging from 18 and 20 pages during the week, and up to 28 pages for the Saturday publication. Mr. Mackinnon, the general
manager, recognizing the extra strain upon the energies of the compositors, spontaneously granted a bonus of 1s. per hour
for copy taken up before six o'clock, thereby increasing the wages of each compositor by about 5s. per week, or in the aggregate
to about £31 per week. We should be pleased to hear of other large employers of labour following Mr. Mackinnon's example.
A special meeting of the Board of Management of the Melbourne Typographical Society was held at the Trades' Hall, on Saturday,
1st December; Mr. Geo. Jordan (President) in the chair. Present: Messrs. R. Reyment and J. Hancock (Vice-Presidents), R. Dickason
(Treasurer), J. C. Bolger (Trustee), A. W. Arnold, J. W. Baker, ? Burkby, W. E. Bullivant, R. J. Bishop, J. H. Field, A. S.
Hunter, W. Henman, T. R. Haslam, T. Huggan, C. H. Johnston, H. Longfield, T. Lawrence, J. Lane, J. Macnee, C. M. Morrison,
J. T. Ryan, H. Rasdell, T. Sanderson, J. Sayers, R. Tuffield, T. Winstanley, S. Webb, J. A. Walker, J. Tully, and the Secretary.
The President reported that the whole of the men in the Herald office had been induced to join the Society, and were now working in accordance with the new rules and scale of charges,
the proprietors of that paper having agreed to conduct the office on Society principles. The action of the Executive of the
Society in the matter was endorsed by the Board, with only one dissentient. A letter was received from the Australasian Typographical
Union, conveying the permission of that body to declare the office open, and congratulating the Society on the successful
termination of the dispute, which has lasted nearly fourteen years. A recommendation from the Australasian Typographical Union
with regard to the War Cry office was unanimously adopted, and this office will also be open to members of the Society. Slight disputes with two other
offices were also reported to have been settled satisfactorily. The Board, after the transaction of another item of business
likely to bring forth good fruit, then adjourned.
The Shortening of hours in the Printing Trade.
There was one subject not discussed by the Printers' Conference, which recently met in Melbourne, that we would very much like
to see taken in hand. We allude to the necessity of devising some means of shortening the long, and frequently excessive,
hours worked on morning newspapers. When a man has to work twelve or thirteen hours at a stretch (and in addition occupy a
couple of hours putting in "dis"), it will readily be seen that the balance of the twenty-four hours hardly allows him sufficient
time for sleep and meals, without taking cognizance of the time occupied in travelling to and from the office. Yet this has
been the normal state of affairs (in one office, at least) since the opening of the Exhibition, and it is very little better
in most of the others. The rush of "ads.," owing to the "land boom," has certainly been unprecedented, and hardly to have
been altogether anticipated; yet, granting all this, it must be admitted that there has been a sad want of foresight, and
an absence of adequate measures to meet it, on the part of those in authority. Ordering "early copy" on every and any occasion,
and with and without reason, seems to have been the only resource which suggested itself to them; and if that failed, why—order
it still earlier. But it hardly needs to be demonstrated how this "early copy" and "daylight finishes" business tended to
defeat itself. After a long and weary night the men would, of course, be utterly unfit the next night, and unable to put in
sufficient type; and, consequently, the paper would be late, with the result that "copy" would be ordered an hour earlier
the following night— and so on. In point of fact, as much composition would frequently not be done in thirteen hours' work
as could have been got up in eight hours if the men had started fresh, after proper rest, and with full cases. Before the
end of the night many would be "on the boards," and numbers of others sitting down, page 958tired, and incapable of doing anything more. It must be remembered, too, that this is night-work, and that there is no recognized
break for meals, each getting his supper as best he can, and none of them, owing to the early hour at which copy is taken,
having the opportunity to get a proper dinner. Under these circumstances, it will be acknowledged that it is most necessary
that the provisions of the "Factories Act" in regard to meals should be rigidly enforced in newspaper offices; and it is to
be hoped that, when the Act is being amended (as has been promised by the Government) the matter will be properly represented
to Parliament, and no exemption of printing offices allowed. We think, also, that it will now be admitted by the trade generally
that they made a great mistake in not insisting on charging "overtime" for all composition after eight hours from starting.
If eight hours' labour is sufficient on day work, it is surely too much at night-work, in a close and confined atmosphere;
and if proprietors of newspapers cannot make arrangements which will enable them to dispense with overtime, they ought to
be made to pay for it—which they can well afford to do, considering that some of them are said to have been taking as much
as £1,000 a day for advertisements, and that they have not been paying any of their employés on permanent salaries a farthing extra for the increased hours they were required to work. In fact, some unfortunate readers'
assistants, we are informed, have been for the last three months in receipt of the princely sum of £2 per week for sixty hours' work, or about 8d. an hour; and this in the year of the Centennial Exhibition, in the prosperous
city of Melbourne! And talking of the Centennial Exhibition reminds us that many compositors, owing to these long hours, have
not had an opportunity of visiting the Exhibition in the day time and examining the exhibits in a proper and intelligent manner.
A "run round" on Saturday night is about all they can compass. If proprietors of news-papers find it necessary to work men
such long hours, they should arrange to have their "dis." put in, and so relieve the men of an incubus which deadens all their
efforts. We have before advocated some reform in this matter, and we feel certain that if the men were only unanimous and
determined it could easily be effected; and, also, an ascending scale for overtime after eight hours' composition might be
enforced. Such work is usually unprofitable, for by that time the men are exhausted and unable to do themselves justice, and
many of them prefer to sit down and do nothing. It is the small hours of the morning that proprietors generally select for
"getting up" Exhibition supplements and other extraneous matter, which they generously present to the public, at the expense
of the health and pockets of their employés. It is time something was done to abolish the "white slavery" that exists on too many morning papers, and give the employés (who have to make so many social and other sacrifices in order to enable the public to read the latest news at breakfast)
some chance of getting the same enjoyment out of their lives as other people. Something has lately been done towards giving
them a larger share of the profits of their labour in the shape of remuneration; but much yet remains to be done. The old
state of affairs, so forcibly depicted by the late William Forster, of Ν.S.W., in "Midas," still exists:—
We dig, we delve, we crush, we tear, We ransack ocean, earth, and air;
All forms of ill, all shapes of suffering brave,
To build fresh heaps for those who have
Already in excess; yet dare
Still more to covet, more to crave,
Wherewith to swell the unearned superfluous share,
Who have not borne what we must bear,
Nor owned their wealth by toil, and misery, and despair.
For them, not for ourselves, we toil.
Like forkèd fires that desolate the plain,
Their tyrant tongues lick up the spoil
We gather with our sweat and labour's bloody pain,
For them, with life and strength accursed,
Through heat and cold, through drought and rain,
Through hunger and through thirst, We perish piecemeal to sustain
Their lives, which out of ours, like parasites, are nursed.
The many perish that the few may thrive,
And thus from age to age the labourer's lot,
While all around him changes, changes not;
And griefs that were the burden of old chimes,
The pangs our fathers felt, the wrongs they bore,
Like an eternal sore Eat festering to the heart of our familiar times
This is the great problem of the future—how to give labour its fair share of the profits of its exertions, which are now entirely
swallowed by the capitalist. Meantime, something might surely be done to ameliorate the lot of the poor printer. In the first
place, he works during the night, which all physicians agree is injurious to health; in the second place, he has to give up
most of the enjoyments of social intercourse, owing to his being at work when other people leave off; and in the third place,
he loses all his Sundays and public holidays; and yet, instead of doing everything they can to ameliorate his lot, and make
these hardships press as lightly as possible, greedy and insensate proprietors insist on working him longer hours than any
other tradesman in Melbourne. The question is, how much longer is he going to put up with it?—for, after all, the remedy is
in his own hands.
Our New Zealand Letter.
The state of the market has been steady, and is likely to continue so for a few months, but there were a good many clearance
cards taken out of the branch about three or four weeks ago. The most noticeable emigrants were Mr. James Govan (Treasurer
of Executive Council) and Mr. H. Osgood (Trustee of Council). Mr. Brooks has been appointed in Mr. Govan's place as Treasurer,
and Mr. Wakelin as Trustee. The other clearances were—Messrs. G. Corlett, J. Pollock, W. Ainslie, J. Stanton, J. Hornsby,
D. J. Moore, W. Kilner, J. Tierney, E. D. Norris. C. A. Sanders, O. Joyce, D. J. Whiteley, and G. Dommett.
The Board having recently decided to invite the overseers of the city to join the Society as honorary members, an intimation
was sent to the overseers, sub-overseers, and readers of the G. P. O., and they have all signified their acceptance.
At the request of the Board, several employés of the Catholic Times and Weekly Herald met the Board on 15th September, and after hearing the arguments of the Branch's representatives, expressed themselves favourable
to joining the Society.
Á deputation waited on Manley to endeavour to get him to conform to the Association rules. They were favourably received,
and he stated he would be only too glad if a scale could be arranged for masters to agree to charge, and would do what he
could to effect this if brought into conference with masters.
An important question re term which apprentices should serve to entitle them to become eligible for membership was decided lately. A case was brought
up before the branch of a young man who had served five years, and who desired to join. The Executive Council decided against
the applicant, but stated he could be admitted as an apprentice in the last year of his time. He has been re-indentured for
another year, and has joined the Association in the usual way.
I am sorry to record the death of Mr. William Samuel Easton, who died at his parents' residence, Wellington, at the early
age of 23 years. He served his time in the Government Printing Office in this city, and, after working in the piece and time
rooms for some time, he determined to travel. He visited New South Wales and Queensland, and in the latter colony he contracted
a cold, which resulted in consumption, from which disease he was suffering when he came home, some six months ago. His father
is working in the G.P.O. piece-room.
22nd November. Business keeps fairly brisk. The branch are taking up the matter of the list of fair shops asked for by the Trade and Labour
Council, and they have put the rules of our Association before all masters, and asked them to subscribe their names thereto,
stating that if they do not endorse the rules and put away some of their boys, their names cannot go on the fair list. One
new member has been received into the branch—Mr. D. Haggatt, who was for many years overseer' of the Christchurch page 959Press and Timaru Herald jobbing rooms. Several members have drawn clearance cards for the other side.
Another death is recorded, and a well-known form has departed from us. Mr. George E. Nias has been known for many years in
the piece-room at the Government Printing Office. He reached a good old age—72 years—but many of the later years have been
suffering ones to him. He held a frame up to the end of his life in the G.P.O.
Auckland, 10th November.
Trade here has been more brisk during the past month, all offices being pretty busy, and nearly all spare labour absorbed,
only two men that I know of being unable to obtain employment. No fresh hands have been taken on at either Star or Herald, but those out, with the exception of the two mentioned, have found work at the various jobbing offices. My predictions re the Observer falling into the hands of Mr. Brett, of the Star, were verified three weeks ago, his tender for, I believe, £1,100 having been accepted. Immediately he took possession all men and boys in the establishment received a week's notice
to quit, and were all discharged, with the exception of one, who is still retained to make up. All the composition is done
by girls, fourteen of whom are still employed. I hear now, though, that Mr. Brett has again placed the paper in the market
for sale, with sufficient type and one machine to bring it out, retaining all the rest, which he will either sell in sections
or remove to the Star office. This is done, no doubt, with the intention of preventing anyone else from starting an opposition evening or morning
paper without considerable expense in purchasing plant; and thus he has again an entire monopoly. Our only hope now with regard
to the Observer is that somebody will purchase it who will dispense with girl labour and employ men to do the work.
During the month five men have left here for Sydney. Three of them had been "grassing" on the Herald, but had become so disgusted with the way things were carried on they decided to try their luck elsewhere. The other two were
young men who had just finished their time at the Thames. They were offered a low rate of wages to stay on—something like
30s. per week; but, to their honour be it said, they refused, and decided to try Australia. Clearance cards were granted to
the former three; but the latter, having only been members about six months, received only a letter of introduction to the
Secretary of the New South Wales Society.
The action taken by our Executive and this Board is just beginning to bear fruit, as more interest is being shown by members
in inducing those who do not belong to us to consider the position, and we are in hopes that before long there will not be
a single comp, or machinist who will not claim membership with us.
There is some talk of another jobbing office being started here by two or three practical men with a plant which was formerly
used by the Freeman's Journal, and which has been lying idle now for some considerable time. Negotiations for its purchase have been pending the past week
or two, but final arrangements have not yet been made. There seems to be a good opening, and a certain class of work could
be commanded. I hope in my next to be able to say they are in full swing.
Our last Board meeting on 22nd September was well attended, and two new members were admitted.
Hawke's Bay, 14th November.
Mr. J. Warnock, for half-a-dozen years head lithographer at the Hawke's Bay Herald, severed his connection with that journal several weeks ago and subsequently left for Melbourne, where he hopes to obtain
that which many other New Zealanders have taken their departure for—employment.
The H. B. Herald has returned to gas, after five months' unsuccessful trial of the electric light. The reason for dispensing with the electric
was on account of the inferiority of the light supplied, it being not near so brilliant as the albo-carbon, and consequently
injurious to the optics of the unfortunates whose unenviable lot it was to toil under such a premature-blindness producer.
Many verbal complaints were lodged with the proprietary before the men gained their point. As a last resort the companionship,
with their overseer, held a meeting to discuss the question, the result being that a proposition was drawn up and signed by
the news-room staff and submitted to the proprietors, who eventually forwarded the significant document to
Wellington, in which windy city the manager of the electric fraud was then located. The proposition had the desired effect,
for in due course the fittings of the objectionable glimmer were removed, and, as before mentioned, gas now re-occupies the
position which it had been previously unjustly robbed of.
The Australasian Typographical Journal has at last obtained a comparatively good foothold among the craft here, as I have secured fifteen subscribers for a year,
with every prospect of increasing the number as time advances.
The Herald comps. are in ecstacies over the Journal's humorous exposition of the unsuccessful attempt of the body of rodents to undermine the companionship on that journal. Your
able criticism was greatly appreciated by all who read the report, except, of course, the miserable objects who concocted
the scheme. Since the rejection of their generous offer, the rodents have quarrelled among themselves, and now threaten to
"bell" on each other, so we are patiently awaiting further developments of this now famous plot.
An attempt will be made shortly to induce every journeyman comp, in Napier to become a member of the N.Z.T.A. This will take
place after the branch receives the deliberations of the Melbourne Conference, so that we shall have a firm foundation to
work upon. All non-unionists will then be invited to attend a meeting to discuss the matter. There are at present a goodly
number of comps. in Napier who have seceded from the branch. These have promised to come back again if every journeyman in
Napier will become a member of the Typographical Society; so, on the strength of these assertions, it is advisable that all
the journeymen should assemble and quietly talk the matter over. I think you will agree with me in the opinion that a similar
course should be pursued in all the towns in New Zealand, with the object of bringing before apathists the many advantages
to be derived by uniting bodily with an institution which only requires unanimity among the craft to make our Association
just as much the envy of masters as are our invincible sister societies in Australia, Melbourne especially; therefore, if
our non-unionists will only discard their prejudices, and join the N.Z.T.A., the result will be beneficial alike to employer
Work in the newspaper line dull, and wages low; jobbing offices brisk, as is usual at this period of the year.
Our Newcastle Letter.
Newcastle, 27th November.
Consequent upon the settlement of the strike business in the city and district appears to have taken a fresh lease of life.
Although the agreement entered into between the masters and men does not give unqualified satisfaction to the latter, it is
hoped that, with a spirit of forbearance on both sides, another strike is a long way off.
Trade in our own particular line is but fair. However, if work is not plentiful, sickness is. Mr. Crew, printer of the Herald, is not yet well, and the sub-printer (Mr. W. Alt) has been forced to take a spell, on account of ill health. The wonder is
that more of us are not down. With the exception, perhaps, of the big printing establishments throughout the colonies—the
sanitary arrangements of which are well looked after—there is little provision made for the comfort of the work-men in most
offices; and comps. are usually "cribbed, cabined, and confined" in either underground cellars or kennels above ground. The
man who will remedy this state of things will indeed be a benefactor to his kind.
Our delegate to the Conference has returned to town, and looks remarkably well for his trip. Mr. Morgan speaks in eulogistic
terms of the hospitality shown the visiting delegates by their Melbourne brethren. We are all sanguine that the seed the Conference
has sown will bring forth good fruit.
The struggle in South Australia between the Register proprietary and men is exciting interest here. It is needless to say our sympathy is with the men. May they win!
There were many of our members here who would have given a trifle to have been with the delegates on Cup Day. Of course, the
usual office sweep was promoted, and (a somewhat unusual event) won by one of the deserving poor—" grass."
Australasian Typographical Union
A meeting of the Council of the Union was held at the Trades' Hall, on Saturday, the 1st December. There was a good attendance,
the Chairman, Mr. R. L. Middleton, presiding. The minutes of the previous meetings were confirmed. In reply to a request from
the Board of the Melbourne Society, asking the permission of the Council to open the Melbourne Evening Herald office, the following resolution was unanimously carried:—
That the Council of the Union endorses the action of the Board of the Melbourne Society in opening the Melbourne Evening Herald office, and gives them permission to declare it an open office. They also congratulate the Board on the success that has
attended their endeavours to make the Herald a fair office, a result the importance of which cannot be overrated.
The request of the Board of the South Australian Society, that the Council should approve of their action in calling out the
companionship of the Register office, Adelaide, was fully considered, and the following resolution carried unanimously:—
That the Council of the Australasian Typographical Union approves of the action taken by the South Australian Society in demanding
a reason for the dismissal of Mr. Grant, and agrees to make an allowance to those men who are supporting the Society of £2 per week for married men, and £1 10s. for single men.
The Chairman informed the Council that the deputation appointed to wait upon Commissioner Howard, of the Salvation Army, with
regard to the dispute between the Society and the War Cry office, had had an interview, and an agreement arrived at, which had been forwarded to the Board of the Society, with a recommendation
that it should be adopted. The action of the deputation was approved of.
The branch rules of the Queensland Society were approved of, and gratification expressed at the success of the Society in
establishing branches. One or two items were postponed, and the meeting adjourned.
Presentations, Socials, &c.
Presentation To Mr. Mark Walker.
A special meeting of the chapel of the Centennial Printing Company was held on Friday evening, 23rd instant, for the purpose of presenting
Mr. Mark Walker with a token of esteem on the eve of his marriage. Mr. John Lützen, in a few suitable words, presented Mr.
Walker with a handsome teapot, bearing on the front the inscription "Presented to Mark Walker, Esq., on the occasion of his
marriage, 24/11/88," and on the reverse "From the Centennial Printing and Publishing Co.'s (Ltd.) Chapel.—J. Lutzen, father."
Mr. Walker was completely taken by surprise, and, in a few words, thanked the companionship for the present, and also their
good wishes. An adjournment was then made to Morrell's, where a number of toasts were duly honoured. "Mr. and Mrs. Walker"
was proposed by Mr. John Lützen, Mr. Walker responding in a suitable manner. "The Chapel, coupled with the name of Mr. Lützen
(Father)," proposed by Mr. Brooking, was suitably responded to. Mr John P. Frazer proposed "Success to the Melbourne Typographical
Society,' and the remarks he made gave pleasure to everyone in the room, as was evinced from the hearty and enthusiastic manner
in which they were applauded. "The Firm," proposed by Mr. Hunter, was also well received; and, indeed, the whole evening passed
so pleasantly that the wish was expressed on all sides that "it would not be long till we had another meeting of the same
The AGE Brass Band.
The Age Band, following up the success that attended the socials held by them during the winter months, inaugurated a series of picnic
excursions on Saturday, 1st December, by proceeding with a large number of their friends to Heidelberg, where, in the vicinity
of the local cricket ground, a most enjoyable afternoon was spent. The Age Cricket Club took advantage of the opportunity thus afforded by joining with the band for the purpose of welcoming Mr. J.
Worrall, one of their number, who has just returned from England with the Australian Eleven. Dancing was indulged in to the
music of the band, which performed for the first time in the open air, and was under the leadership of Mr. F. Thorpe. An impromptu programme of sports was also gone through.
The First Conversazione of The Typographical Society of Canterbury.
How much work can be accomplished in a very short time by a few energetic men who' know what to do and how to do it, was abundantly
shown at the Oddfellows' Hall on Saturday evening, when the first conver-sazione of the Canterbury Typographical Society took place. At midday
the hall was filled with chairs confusedly heaped together, and otherwise void, but by seven in the evening the stage and
numerous tables on the floor were covered with most interesting and instructive exhibits, for the most part illustrative of
the mystery of printing and its sister arts. The exhibits were displayed with much taste, and the hall was further decorated
by the introduction of some remarkably fine pot plants, fems, &c, kindly lent to the committee by Mr. O. Revill, of St. Albans.
The stage was altogether devoted to the exhibition of the details of printing, such as type setting and distributing, proof
correcting, stereo-typing, lithographing, engraving, &c, the even comparatively minor matter of " copy" not being overlooked.
Here, too, a well-known member of the Fourth Éstate was the centre of a group of admirers, watching his skilful manipulation
of a type writer; while other groups surrounded the hand-press used for printing the programmes, and the "frames," at which
compositors explained and demonstrated the method of "setting" from copy. So great was the number of exhibits that it was
impossible, in the limited space, for their various merits to be properly examined. One remarkably fine piece of lithographic
drawing, however, could not be over-looked. This was the portrait, on stone, of the late Mr. John Hebden—a most speaking likeness.
In the body of the hall the exhibits were of a more miscellaneous and less technical character; indeed, any article which
could be fairly brought into the genus "curio" appeared to nave been cordially granted space. Ancient books, Japanese needlework,
Chinese printing, photographs of scenery, stereoscopes, microscopes, rare prints, wonderful "samplers" of a former generation,
electric apparatus in "shocking" order, specimens of the ammunition of the present day side by side with specimens of the
time of the Battle of the Nile, a Ballarat gold license of 1853, geological specimens, and countless other objects, called
imperatively for a close examination, which their very number rendered it quite impossible to give. The first hour of the
evening (during which time Miss Richards kindly presided at the piano) was devoted to a cursory glance at what would have
required days to thoroughly explore, and then the "programme" began.
By this time the hall was well filled, some five hundred ladies and gentlemen being present. The latter represented the printing
interest in all its branches— the proprietors of establishments, the heads of departments, compositors, stereotypers, engravers,
machinists, lithographic artists, editors, reporters, &C, down to "devils." The ladies included the mothers, wives, daughters,
sisters, cousins, aunts, and sweethearts of the gentlemen. The "programme" had been arranged so as to suit the tastes of all.
It began with a pianoforte solo by Mr. J. Brockett, and included sentimental and comic songs by Messrs. A. W. Woodward, Halley,
F. Norton, C. Read, E. Maurice, and a violin solo by Mr. P. Cliff, and last, but not least, several dances. In the room at
the back of the hall light refreshments were liberally dispensed during the evening. It is needless to say that each and every
item was thoroughly appreciated, and that at eleven o'clock "God Save the Queen" came with surprise and regret on the company,
who were at the height of their enjoyment, and would willingly have remained for at least another hour. How-ever, the committee,
desirous of allowing the exhibits to be taken away, very wisely determined to adhere to strict time, and the party broke up,
each one of the company hoping to be alive and well enough to be present when the Society holds its next social gathering.
The success of the evening is, no doubt, due to the hearty co-operation of very many whose names do not appear on the programme;
but credit should here be given at least to those who are named—viz., Mr. F. J. Bidmeade (President), Mr. A. Foster (Vice-President),
and Mr. F. G. Gerard (Secretary). A vote of thanks to those who had contributed songs, &c., was carried by acclamation.
[Not responsible for opinions of correspondents.]
To the Editor of the Australasian Typographical Journal.
Sir,—Allow me to point out the inaccuracy of the statement made in your November issue that Mr. Hart was " one of the founders
of the Colonial Printers' Art Journal." This publication was originated by me, and was sold, two days before the issue of the first number, to Messrs. Hart, Batson,
and Atwater. The journal was projected some time before this firm started in business, and probably before Mr. Hart arrived
in the colony. No doubt the records of your Society will prove my statement to be correct; if not, I can place absolute proof
at your command.—Yours, &c.,
G. M. Prendergast.
[We find that Mr. Prendergast's statement is quite correct. The writer of the article in which Mr. Hart is alluded to as "one
of the founders" of the journal in question was simply misled by assuming that the proprietors of the journal were its promoters—a
very excusable mistake.—Ed. A. T.J.]
The Late Conference.
To the Editor of the Australasian Typographical Journal.
Sir,—I feel sorry that the late Conference has not given us something tangible with regard to an Australasian scale of charges
especially. Some time ago the New South Wales Association carried a motion-"That a Conference of the Typographical Societies
throughout Australasia be called, at such time and place as they may deem fit, to deal with an Australasian scale of charges,
and other matters." The societies were written to, and the response was that there was an Australasian Union in existence,
evidently construing it into an endeavour on our part to jump the claim of that Union. As one who took an active part in that
matter, I disclaim any intention of the kind. We have been so weary and worried with regard to the haphazard system in vogue,
in spite of some plain rules- for instance, "one-third extra on all figure matter run on, such as wool sales, circulars,"
&c. This has page 961been construed to mean only wool sales and circulars, the &c. or the word all being ignored. Nay, one office has such peculiar notions that as the London wool sales and circulars are set in nonpareil,
they give one-third extra; but when they are set in minion, or larger type, for another part of the paper, there is no extra;
and so on. If you get a block advertisement, and setting at each side of it, you have the humiliating spectacle of asking
the overseer (like a schoolboy) what extra he will allow on it; and so on to the end of the chapter. It is a common thing
to be told, in cases of dispute, that so and so is done in other colonies. Hence the anxiety and disappointment at the Congress
so far as this is concerned. It is immaterial whether it is done by the Australasian Union or the Conference, so far as we
are concerned, if it is done rightly and well. Although the New South Wales Association are opposed to joining the Union while
it remains a one-horse affair, or, in other words, representation by proxy, I believe they would have been inclined to have
wavered a little if the representatives of the Union had shown endeavours to place something of this kind before the Conference,
instead of promises. I would have liked to have given some reference to other matters of importance, but will not take up
your space, as I know it is limited, but will conclude by drawing the attention of the Union and the various societies to
the following:—The Trades Congress is to be held in Tasmania in February; a number of societies will send delegates there.
Why not send delegates from all the unions to meet there, and carry inte shape the recommendations of the Conference, instead
of waiting two years—the expenses of the same to be borne equally by the societies? Let the Australasian Union be located
in Melbourne if they chose, but they must, if they wish it to be successful, make it shifting, at least annually, and why
not at the same time and place as the Trades' Congress? I look upon the late Conference as merely preliminary. Trusting that
the Australasian Union will see its way clear to take up this suggestion, and endeavour to make us more united-yours, &c.,
James Watson.Sydney, 27th November.
P.S.—It is with the idea of saving expense that I suggest the next Trades Congress, as a majority of the unions send delegates
there, and, as some of the societies have to travel a great distance—such as Queensland, for instance—it would be better for
all to pay the expense equally, even to the society located at Tasmania, each delegate to be allowed a certain sum per day
and travelling expenses.—J. W,
To the Editor of the Australasian Typographical Journal.
Sir,—I would be much obliged if you could afford me space in which to correct certain statements which appeared in the last
issue of your journal regarding myself. Your very energetic Wellington correspondent gives a long and ''funny" account of
my doings in leaving New Zealand for Melbourne, and concludes by holding me up as an "example" to others intending to visit
this city. Now, sir, I would have gladly submitted to being made an "example" had I been guilty of any practice which would
merit such reproof; but I am prepared to prove that the representations of your correspondent are alone suppositious, and
are void of facts. Either he misunderstood my position when I interviewed him regarding admission to the Society, or he has
allowed personal and selfish feelings to influence him in the matter. I would be sorry to imagine that the latter was the
case, but it looks extremely like it on the face of his remarks. The facts of the case are briefly these:—The term of my apprenticeship
was completed on 21st August, 1886, when, as my health was being impaired through the confinement attending framework, I decided
on securing outdoor employment. I was consequently engaged in a legitimate business, in various parts of New Zealand, up till
the beginning of October last, when I determined on returning to the trade and visiting Victoria. I applied to Mr. Johnson,
Secretary of the Wellington Branch, for admission to the Typographical Society, but was astonished when he demanded the sum
of 30s. Knowing, as I did, that the ordinary entrance fee was 5s., I objected to the payment of this amount; but, rather than
be prevented from enjoying the privileges of a journeyman printer, I agreed to pay it under protest. This plan did not seem
to meet with the approval of the Board, and they informed me that, as I was leaving for Victoria, it would be more satisfactory
if I would join the Melbourne Branch. I left, and on my arrival here I found that I had to "put down" £1before I could get a "permit" to work in a Society office. You, perhaps, can see my position, sir. The Wellington Secretary
now asks for a further "fine" for my neglecting to join in New Zealand. What can I do? I offer to assist the Society to the
extent of £10 if it can be proved that I worked one week at the trade between the date of the expiration of my term of apprenticeship
and my arrival in Melbourne. Trusting this offer will have the effect of removing any misunderstanding that may exist, I remain,
&c., A. V.
[Written for the Inland Printer by W. T. Welch, SanFrancisco.]
The following facetious paragraphs were written by Mr. W. T. Welch, lately a member of the Melbourne Typographical Society,
for that well-known and highly interesting periodical the Inland Printer, published in Chicago. This gentleman is the son of Mr. W. Welch, printer, Sandhurst, Victoria, and is a native of that city. He is 27 years of age, and since leaving Melbourne he has visited and worked in all the principal great
centres in the United States, including San Francisco, Fresno County, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, &c, Mr. Welch
intends returning to Melbourne shortly after doing Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Brussels, Antwerp, &c, and will no doubt
be in a position to give us some interesting particulars regarding the profession in the cities he has visited:—
"Shaded" letters—Mourning epistles.
The "dead letter" office—The pi box.
" Time hands"—The hands on a clock.
" Types of beauty"—Ornamental letters.
The "sweets" of office—(municipal) "rolls."
Fee'd boys—Lads who have received douceurs.
Query—Can a hat box be termed a " cap" case
" Rough on rats"—Twenty-five cents a thousand.
Notice to careless jobbing hands—" Keep off the borders."
Dandy comps. who are always in fashion may be said to strictly "follow copy."
The "break" mostly looked forward to by the weary night comp.—The break o' day.
Every comp, likes "good measure." This is why he always requests the bartender to fill it to the brim.
Married printers should tread the backyard gingerly on washing days in order to avoid "head lines."
It would tax the ingenuity of the most rabid teetotaller in the trade to extract water out of the "springs" of a chase.
Query—Can a tradesman guilty of unfair practices, and who has served a gaol sentence, be termed a "quad-rat?"
You can tell by the expression of his face whether the printer who has been angling has had a "good take" or not.
A waggish comp of our acquaintance terms the ornamental hats used by lovely damsels in springtime "display heads."
The conundrum, "How to get fat," still nonpluses the comps. employed on piecework in the average jobbing office.
Fast night comps. who unduly waste their nervous energy should paste the motto, "It's the pace that kills," over their frames.
"Nonpareil cast on a pica body," was the remark of a printer on seeing a man of large physical proportions with a small head.
Machinists are recommended to keep the "doctor" in good health, and he will "come down" handsomely with a "good spread."
The careless pressman would make a good defendant in civil cases, inasmuch as he could generally manage a convenient "set
As an example of the hypocrisy prevalent in the trade, it may be stated that some of the most irreligious comps. regularly
"go to chapel."
Hercules is said to have been a giant in form. The "embryo" printers of his time probably called him "Roman fat face" in derision.
It will no doubt surprise piece hands with a failing for exaggeration to know that John Bright is the most celebrated "peace
hand" on record.
It need hardly be stated that the comp, who "wished the copy had a greater tendency toward embonpoint" was employed on a religious weekly.
We never heard of a donkey being used to spread out ink with, but there is not the slightest doubt that (if healthy) he would
make an A1 "brayer."
It is said that amatory lady comps. greatly deplore the introduction of machinery in the printing trade. This is because they
are so fond of "presses."
When the irritable night comp, gets hold of a "take" of lean stock report copy, he is as certain to get his "wool off" as
a fat sheep at shearing time.
It must be very reassuring to the ambitious apprentice to know that the most distinguished travellers the world has ever seen
have been "journey men."
We know many funny youngsters employed in the printing trade, but none of them have been funny enough to term a "sortie" with
paste a "paste brush."
"What would you do if a letter-founder assaulted you?" we were asked the other day. "Give him a punch," we replied. (The questioner
The majority of casual hands are the victims of an unjustifiable aversion on the part of many of their compatriots permanently
employed. Nevertheless, when the former happen to be
dismissed after "throwing in matter," detractors "take up their cases" readily enough, especially if they happen to be full
The improvident comp, is frequently "at pa" (for money). When out of parents he turns to his. "uncle," who displays more than
maternal "interest" in him.
It is a mistake to suppose that comps. as a rule are poor men. Most of them "drive out" occasionally, and the pressman who
has not a "carriage" is a rarity.
It will no doubt come as a surprise to aeronauts to know that nearly every large printing office has "flying machines" which
successfully do the work allotted them.
The young orphan printer who was interrogated as to his motive in moulding a mud effigy with some resemblance to a human figure,
said he was "making a new pa."
Comps. of a scientific turn of mind should not enter into an animated argument about mind and matter when "dissing," as the
"matter" is apt to end in a "squabble."
A concise printer, employed on the Necropolis Gazette, says that when any of his hens "distribute" more eggs than usual, he refers to the occurrence as an "over lay."
The "little cherubs" (?) who "sit up aloft" in some offices to take the sheets from the cylinder as they are printed, are
usually "fly boys" in the vulgar acceptation of the term.
In answer to an inquiring apprentice we have to state that giving a pressman a bottle of rum will no doubt lead him to initiate
the curious into the technicality of a "long pull."
Comps. who prowl about the large cities, "waiting for some-thing to turn up," should seek the country newspaper offices, where
the esculent and prodigious "turnip" is usually to be found.
As an instance of the peculiar properties of alcohol in fuddling the brain, it may be mentioned that the average printer invariably
mistakes the nearest saloon for a "fount," when he wishes to slake his thirst.
The stone hand who joined the police force, and was, observed in pursuit of a female transgressor of the laws, casually remarked
that he had frequently "dressed a chase," but on this occasion he was " chasing a dress." ( To be continued. )