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Thursday, 17 March 1932

Mr LYONS - As the PostmasterGeneral explained last night; juniors in the postal service, upon reaching adult age, would, under normal conditions, be appointed to permanent positions at full pay. Under existing circumstances, there are no vacancies to which they can be appointed; they, therefore, become redundant officers, and the Government bad to choose between dismissing them from the Service and retaining them at junior rates of pay. The Government did not like the prospect of dispensing, with the services of these men, whose places later would be filled by juniors.

Mr Scullin - Apparently there are vacancies for them.

Mr LYONS - When they reach adult age they become redundant officers; as there are no higher positions to which they can be appointed, but rather than dismiss them and engage juniors in their stead, the Government preferred to continue them at their present salaries. If evidence is furnished that some special disadvantage is imposed upon one section that might be more widely spread, the Government will be prepared to consider it.

Mr Holloway - Is not the Government violating the award under which these men work?

Mr LYONS - No. They continue to occupy junior positions, and are paid accordingly. The Government would not feel justified in paying an adult's wage for services that can be performed by juniors; that would be an infringement of the award. With the greatest reluc- tance the Government made its decision, which, however, is preferable to adding these officers to the ranks of the unemployed.

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