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Wednesday, 25 July 1906

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I gave an answer to the question in the honorable member's absence. Although the instruments have been removed from the offices to which he refers, no inconvenience is thereby inflicted upon the public, because telegrams handed in for transmission are despatched even more quickly than was formerly the case. At the Sydney Exchange, one of the offices referred to, I am endeavouring to arrange for the laying down of a tube whereby messages can be forwarded to the central office for despatch more quickly than is possible either by telegraphing them or by sending them by messenger. Immediately a telegram is handed in, it will be sent through the tube to the head office, and despatched from there without delay. Yesterday a temporary ararngement was made which, if accepted by the Exchange authorities, will have the support of the Government, and will meet the difficulty pointed out by the honorable member. I shall be glad to let him know within the next three or four days what is to be done. We are endeavouring to treat all cases of the kind in the same way. There is a tube from the Melbourne Exchange to the head office, and there is no reason why a similar arrangement should not be made in other places where it would be suitable. When a branch office is situated at no great distance from the head office, and it is found that messages canbe sent to the latter for despatch more quickly by messenger boys than by telegraphing, we have, in the interests of expedition, substituted a staff of messengers.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - May I ask the Postmaster-General to obtain a comparative statement of the receipts from hotels in which there are telegraph offices and those from the branch offices to which my question referred ? For instance, can he let me know what is the revenue obtained from the telegraph office at Menzies' Hotel, and that obtained from the Sydney Exchange telegraph office?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I shall be glad to furnish the information.

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