Harvester judgment

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A landmark court ruling in Australia by Justice Henry B. Higgins (b. 1851, d. 1929), which established principles of a minimum wage, and became a major component of industrial relations until the 1960s. Higgins decided against an application for exemption from excise duty under the Excise Act of 1906 made by a manufacturer of harvesting machines, Hugh V. McKay (b. 1865, d. 1926), on the grounds that he payed ‘fair and reasonable’ wages. Higgins pronounced that McKay's wage of 6 shillings per day was not enough, calculating that an average household of two adults and three children needed at least 7 shillings per day to maintain a decent life in a ‘civilized’ community.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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