The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 19 October 1920 p. 6.
TAKING OVER THE TRAMS.
MR. J. S. BADGER INTERVIEWED.
CONDITIONS IN AMERICA.
Mr. J. S. Badger (managing director
of the Brisbane Tramways Co., Ltd. ),
who returned to Brisbane on Saturday
evening, after an absence of ten months
in America, has been much, improved in
health by his trip, and in an interview
with a "Courier" representative yesterday he said he felt that he was a good
advertisement for what the Southern Californian climate could do for a man
He spent all his time at Monrovia, just
outside Los Angeles, raising oranges and
lemons, and motoring; on the excellent
Mr Badger said he had returned in
connection with the company's business,
more especially in reference to the trans-fer of the tramways to the Government.
He did not intend to take an active part
in the management of the trams while
he was here, as everything was running
satisfactorily. All he would say was
that he was hore to watch the company's interests in the matter of the transfer, and the period of his stay in Brisbane would depend on the time the negotiations occupied.
Regarding affairs in the United States
Mr Badger saidd that the internal
market conditions were fairly satisfactory although things had not yet entirely settled down. Labour was generally very highly paid and as an example he instanced carpenters earning
from 8 to 10 dollars (£2) per day of 8
hours and plumbers and other skilled
tradesmen getting as high as 12 dollars
a dav Prices as a rule, were also high
—being generally higher than in Australia—but the general tendency now was
towards a reduction. Business was
flourishing, and the people generally
seemed to have plenty of money, and
they spent it pretty liberally. A great
proportion of the people in California
had motor cars. In fact it was estimated that there was a motor car to
every five men, women, and children.
Most tradesmen working on jobs went
to their work in motor cars.
In connection with the Japanese problem Mr Badger explained that the
Japanese were not objected to as
labourers, but as land owners, and it
was to this very goal that the Japanese
aspired. As adult Japanese could not become naturalised and therefore could not
legally hold land, the difficulty was got
over by placing a block of land in the
name of the child which, being born in
United States, was an American citizen.
The condition of the roads in California was enthusiastically referred to by
Mr. Badger. California especially he
said, had a magnificent system of highways. A variety of road formations was
used, including concrete, and concrete
with a surfacing of a tar composition
while others were somewhat similar to
tarred macadam treated with a residual
obtained after the refining of the crude
oil. Most of the States were doing a
great deal towards making good roads
and as a result a great increase in
transport by motor trucks was noticeable. Road transport companies had
sprung up and trips were now made between towns with the regularity of railway trains. The motor truck and
tractor business was a tremendous thing
at present, and machinery was being used
more and more on the farms. In a
like manner numerous labour saving devices were being instituted in the households. These included dish-washers, electric washers, ironers, cookers, &c., and
automatic stoves. In the case of the
latter a housewife could leave her home
and adjust a thermostat and clock on
the cooker to cook for a certain estimated time at a certain heat, and when
she returned the meal would be ready for