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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Mr GABB (Angas) . -I desire to call attention to the utterly inadequate remuneration which isgiven to those in charge of allowance post offices, especially in outlying districts. This urgent matter has been referred to by other honorable members, and I must add my voice to theirs, for these allowance officers suffer great disadvantages and deserve the support and encouragement of the Government. I know that every one of them is supposed to be also engaged in some other occupation, but that is not so in every case. There are places where it is impossible to obtain storekeepers to carry on the work, and others are keeping the offices going at rates not at all commensurate with their duties. The PostmasterGeneral (Mr. Wise), according to an answer to a question he gave, has this matter under consideration, and I hope exceptional cases will meet with justice.

I have had sent to me, in common,I suppose, with other honorable members, a communication from the Council of Public Service Associations, enclosing a resolution passed by it last evening. The communication is -

Melbourne, 20th May, 1920.

I have the honour by direction to bring under your notice the resolution set out hereunder adopted last evening at the meeting of this council, which represents the following Public Service organizations: -

The Federated Public Service Assistants Association.

The General Division Telephone Officers Association.

Post and Telegraph Association.

Commonwealth Postmasters Association.

Australian Letter-carriers Association.

Postal Linemen's Union.

General Division Officers Association of the Trade and Customs Department.

Postal Electricians Union.

Postal Sorters Union.

Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

Commonwealth Artisans Association.

The resolution has been forwarded to all members of the National Parliament- Senate and House of Representatives.

As the matter is a most urgent one, we trust that you will assist us by having the resolution placed before the House praying the Government to' take immediate action.

Yours faithfully,

J.   H. Cameron, Secretary.


That this meeting of representatives of executives of Public Service organizations registers its most emphatic protest against the unconscionable delay in dealing with the Public Service cases now pending, and urges the Government to expedite the hearing.

I recognise the urgency and justice of the claim made and I take this opportunity to have this communication recorded in Hansard. We members of this House, or some of us, recently expressed the opinion that we are entitled to an increase of salary. What happened ? On the day the matter was brought up, two notices of motion and two orders of the day were postponed in order that we might discuss the proposal. We can rush the business when our own salaries are concerned, and I do not see why we cannot be as expeditious in the interests of the public servants. I understand that today a measure is to be introduced to provide for an increase in the parliamentary allowance. We, it appears, can make a claim, and get it carried into effect by Act of Parliament within a week, whereas the Public Service organizations have to wait week after week and month after month. I hopethe members of Parliament who are so careful to look after themselves will be just as careful in expeditiously looking after the claims of our employees. We. as members, receive £12 a week, but the public servants receive considerably less ; and 1 hope that we shall show ourselves other than selfish, and expedite the consideration of their claims.

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