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Thursday, 26 July 1906


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for West Sydney, on the 20th July, asked the following questions : -

1.   Is he aware that boys are frequently employed to do the work of letter-carriers in suburban post-offices in New South Wales?

2.   Is he aware that in the North Sydney district four telegraph messengers do letter-carriers' work and are delivering letters to the general public, and that similar instances may be cited in Roselle and other suburbs?

3.   Is it a 'fact that a boy employed to deliver letters at Gordon actually destroyed valuable scrip to save himself the trouble of delivering it to the addressee, and that at Hurstville a boy doing letter-carriers' work deposited some letters in the scrub, which were not found until eighteen months afterwards?

4.   Will he cause inquiries to be made into the above, with a view of preventing the displacement of men by boys?

The Acting Deputy Postmaster-General, Sydney, has furnished the following information : -

1.   As a general rule boys are not employed to do the work of letter-carriers exclusively; this, work, when performed by boys, being generally combined with that of delivery of telegrams, an allowance, in addition to salary, being granted them. There are, however, some instances in which the exigencies of the service render it necessary for boys to undertake the full duty of letter-carriers; but, as opportunities offer through resignations, transfers, &c., these anomalies are being rectified ; when junior members of the staff are not available boys are also sometimes employed to temporarily relieve the regular letter-carriers when absent on leave, or through illness or other emergencies.

2.   Four messengers in North Sydney district are employed, and two at Roselle, in the manner shown in answer to question No. 1, and, as indicated therein, a similar practice prevails to some extent in other suburbs.

3.   A telegraph messenger at Pymble (not Gordon) destroyed in 1900 some postal matter, and was prosecuted and punished; in 1905, a senior telegraph messenger at Hurstville, aged 18, in receipt of£52 per annum, and £6 for delivery of correspondence, confessed that about 12 months previously he secreted some postal articles in the bush, intending to deliver the same on his next round, but forgot them ; for this irregularity he was required to leave the Department. Men employed as letter-carriers have at times committed similar offences, and have been suitably punished.

4.   See answer to No. 1.







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