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Friday, 3 August 1906

Mr CARPENTER - I wish to ask the Prime Minister a question with regard to a matter which the Fremantle Municipal Council have brought under my notice. Upon the 25th April last, the Council sent to the Prime Minister a copy of a resolution passed by its members relating to the delay in dealing with certain charges against employes of the Commonwealth. On the 3rd May the Town Clerk received a formal asknowledgment of his letter. After waiting for six weeks, he again wrote to the Prime Minister, and asked for some reply, and on the 29th June he received a communication, simply stating that the matter was one for the Public Service Commissioner - that power to deal with public servants was vested in the Commissioner by Act of Parliament. The Fremantle Council complain that there has been undue delay in forwarding to them an answer which merely conveys information which might have been imparted when their letter was formally acknowledged. Of course, it is an open question whether it is desirable for municipal bodies to pass resolutions such as that indicated : but I am not now discussing that point. Honorable members know that a great deal of criticism is directed to what is called red-tapism in Government Departments. The opinion is held outside that there is a good deal of unnecessary delay in answering correspondence addressed to the Government Departments, and I think that the delay to which I have referred calls for some explanation.

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