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Friday, 18 November 1938

Mr BARNARD (Bass) .-I should like to refer to the dismissal of certain employees of the Postal Department in Tasmania. Upon reaching the age of 18, 19, or 21 years, boys who in many cases have been in the service of the department for many years, have been dismissed following re-classification of their positions. I have had brought to my notice the case of a young man who after seven years' service, was put off when he reached the age of 21 years. His conduct had been satisfactory. That is a very undesirable state of affairs and should be investigated immediately. An even more distressing case to which my attention has been drawn is that of a young man, an orphan, who had been employed in the Postal Department for three or four years as a junior assistant. I understand that some effort was made to retain his services, because of his unfortunate circumstances, and his general good conduct ; but his position was reclassified, and after his dismissal, the work done by him was taken over by a girl. 1 appreciate ' the difficulties in postal administration, but I suggest to the PostmasterGeneral (Mr. Archie Cameron) that a thorough investigation be made so that such dismissals may be prevented in the future.

I am especially interested in the inquiry now being conducted in Melbourne into the recent tragic mishap to the airliner Kyeema, because for a number of years I have been following the development in wireless beacon control. Yesterday, -a report appeared in the press that, because the scope of the inquiry was now much wider that had been originally anticipated, one member of the board of inquiry, whose original position had been more or less that of a judge, was required to give evidence. One of the barristers appearing before the inquiry is reported to have made representations for the reconstitution of the board. The AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Menzies) said yesterday that those representations had not reached him. I do not know whether they have reached him yet, but, at any rate, they have reached the board itself. Nothing should be allowed to hamper the successful conclusion of this inquiry, which is the first that has ever been publicly held into an air disaster in Australia. The public must be satisfied with its findings in respect of, not only the Kyeema disaster, hut also the control and operation of civil aviation generally. I appeal to the AttorneyGeneral -and to the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr. Thorby) to pay heed to the representations that have been made in respect of the personnel of the board. It should be reconstituted so that the fullest possible light may be thrown on the administration of civil aviation in this country and so that the people can be inspired with confidence that the control of aviation will be placed in the future on a satisfactory basis.

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