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Wednesday, 12 May 1920

Mr WISE (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) (Postmaster-General) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   Complaints have been made to the Department regarding the present unsatisfactory overseas mail service, which is one of the results of the war.

2.   Prior to the war, the service was carried out weekly by steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Company and the Orient Line, under contracts with the British and Commonwealth Governments respectively. These contracts were interrupted by the war, and I have been unable to ascertain definitely when the Peninsular and Oriental steamers (under contract with the British Government), which were withdrawn altogether from the Australian service, will take up that service regularly, but I understand that the company hopes to resume monthly running to Australia from July, 1920. The Orient contract, which does not expire until 17th September, 1921, is being carried out as far as possible with the reduced number of steamers available, and action is proceeding on the question of arranging a fresh contract on its expiration.

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