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Wednesday, 5 May 1920

Mr STORY (Boothby) .- In order to allay the anxiety of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro (Mr. Austin Chapman), I beg to inform him that additional means of ingress and egress were provided. The Public Works Committee, of which I happened to be a member at that time, suggested that the Department should purchase some old buildings facing Castlereagh-street, in order to supply ample means of ingress and egress; and that purchase would, in the opinion of the Committee, have been a good investment for the Commonwealth. The then Postmaster-General decided against that idea, but he provided special means of egress and ingress, in the form of a tunnelled passage from the back of the site into Pitt-street. Previously the only means were afforded by a rightofway from Castlereagh-street. The tunnel ought to be amply satisfactory, because it was designed and made under the supervision of Mr. Griffin, the architect of the Federal Capital. At any rate, it is quite sufficient to protect the lives of our employees.

Mr Austin Chapman - Have you seen it?

Mr STORY - Yes, and I am perfectly satisfied that it is quite sufficient. I should have very much preferred the Department to have adopted the recommendation of the Public Works Committee in. reference to the purchase of the Castlereaghstreet frontage. I merely rose to allay any uneasiness which honorable members may have.

Mr Austin Chapman - You have not done so; we are told that this is a " death-trap."

Mr STORY - The honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton), when he made that remark, was not aware that this additional means of escape had been provided.

Mr Fenton - I knew a tunnel had been made; but we do not desire our employees to scuttle like rabbits out of a burrow.

Mr STORY - The Chairman of the Public Works Committee at that time (Mr. Riley) has already assured the House that means of ingress and egress have been provided, and, in my opinion, the tunnel will be a perfect safeguard.

Mr Austin Chapman - Do you say that Mr. Griffin is responsible for this building ?

Mr STORY - Mr. Griffin was the architect employed to provide this means of escape into Pitt-street; and I think honorable members need be under no apprehension in regard to these.

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