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Statements - Reasons Why Employers Should Vote 'NO' to Conscription, 1915 Document Reg. No: HT 29282

Three handwritten and typewritten statements made by Hugh Victor McKay outlining reasons why employers should vote 'NO' to conscription. The statements appear to be tongue-in-cheek as McKay was pro-conscription and a member of Sunshine's Pro-Reinforcements Committee which campaigned for the introduction of conscription.

This document is part of a collection of photographs, negatives, moving film, artefacts, documents and trade literature belonging to the H. V. McKay Sunshine Collection. The Australian operations of this company were originally founded by Hugh V. McKay in the 1890s. The McKay collection is regarded as one of the most significant industrial heritage collections in Australia.
Handwritten notes in black ink pen on the reverse side of three yellow sheets of paper. The notes are written on the reverse side of a printed leaflet for ordering a copy of a year book. The notes have been transcribed to three sheets of single-sided translucent paper, typed in black ink.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Cecil Newton McKay (nee Shaw)
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 266 mm (Height), 210 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Above dimensions are for the typewritten pages. Handwritten notes are on sheets sized 140 wide by 220 mm high.

More information

Tagged with: industry, world war i 1914-1918, conscription, handwriting
Themes this item is part of: H.V. McKay Sunshine Collection, The Sunshine Harvester Works, Sunshine, Victoria, Australia, H.V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd, Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers & Importers, Sunshine, Victoria, Hugh V. McKay, Agricultural Implement & Machinery Manufacturer, Ballarat & Sunshine, Victoria, Sunshine Stripper Harvester, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Agricultural & Horticultural Equipment
Tertiary Classification: publications
Inscriptions: Printed leaflet: ' 1915 EDITION. / NINTH PUBLICATION (enlarged and Corrected to latest date.) / ( Including Alphabetical List of Managers or Secretaries of Mining Companies). / "The Australasian Joint Stock Companies' Year-Book" / Edited by R. L. NASH, Financial Editor "Daily Telegraph," Sydney. '

The document reads:
'Fellow Employers ! Vote No. Because commercial considerations should come first. If the British and the Allies go down, German goods either wholly or partly manufactured will be rushed into Australia at the minimum cost. Manufacturers can then become Importers, and make big profits and quick returns. At best, all manufacturing enterprises are costly and hazardous as the industrial conditions are against the employer. The introduction of German and Austrian manufactures on a big scale will do away with any necessity to employ Australian operatives, therefore I vote NO in the hope that Germany will win. FELLOW EMPLOYERS drop this manufacturing farce, Vote NO and let things take their natural course. Give up employing operatives when a few clerks and an office will make surer and larger profits. VOTE NO.'

'VOTE NO and bust up Unionism. The more we help the Germans the better. What class is certain to benefit by untrammelled trade with Germany? Not the workers or their dependents. It is the importers and those who are now employers of Labor. Let Germany in wholeheartedly and the Unions will soon be as extinct as the dodo. Why should we fret ourselves about finding employment? It merely means finding foothold for Unions and their pestilent perambulating agitators. This is our chance to down the Unions. Vote No every time and it will be the knell of Union tyranny. VOTE NO'

1. Because conscription entails a depletion of operatives, workers will become scarce and absurdly high wages will become the rule. I vote NO because I object to high wages.
2. Because there will be fewer mouths to feed if many thousands are sent to the war. The employers responsibilities will be lightened as the demand for his products falls away. I will vote NO as I can tide over the war time more inexpensively.
3. Because conscription will mean further exactions from the employers. The increase in the cost of sending and maintaining reinforcements on the class which employs labour, therefore to escape further taxes I shall vote NO.
4. Because if Germany wins, I can obtain goods either partly or wholly manufactured for my business and can dispense with the greater part of my staff of employe[e]s. It will pay me better to import than to manufacture. Big profits and quick returns.'
Author: H.V. McKay, Sunshine Harvester Works, Sunshine, Victoria, Australia, 1915
Organisation Named: H.V. McKay Pty Ltd, Sunshine Harvester Works, Sunshine, Victoria, Australia, 1915

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