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Thursday, 10 November 1938

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) .- I support the protests of the honorable members for Maribyrnong (Mr. Drakeford) and Ballarat (Mr. Pollard) against the proposal of the Government to divert moneys intended for new postal works to other avenues, thus depriving certain men of the employment they have been following for some time, as well as arousing a feeling of insecurity in the minds of employees generally in the Postal Department. If there .is one department in which this is most unjustified, it is the Postal Department. That department has contributed substantially to the revenues of this country; indeed, it has provided many surpluses. The fact that the public are to be deprived of essential services, and that safeguards necessary for their protection as well as the protection of the employees of the department, will be denied by the failure to renew equipment, must give rise to serious concern. I have heard very disquieting rumours in regard to the attitude of the department towards its employees in South Australia. Many of those employees who are returned soldiers, have a feeling of absolute insecurity. We are approaching the Christmas season, when an attempt is generally made to increase the provision fo* employment, yet tlie Government chooses this very moment to deprive men of the employment they now have! Surely that is most undesirable! The wisdom of its action is open to serious challenge. We are supposed to be enjoying a period of comparative prosperity. The general impression in the minds of the public is that the trend in relation to employment is upward, and that there is no need for us to fear the future. The Government is setting a very bad example to private employers by restricting useful and serviceable works and depriving men of the employment formerly enjoyed by them. I voice a very strong protest against any action in this direction which is contemplated in regard to the postal services of South Australia.

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