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Tuesday, 22 November 1938

Mr Makin (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) n asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   ls it a fact that a general instruction has been issued to all Commonwealth departments requesting that expenditure should be curtailed wherever practicable?

2.   If so, is it a fact that in consequence of this instruction certain works that would ordinarily be proceeded with in the PostmasterGeneral's Department will be curtailed, resulting in the discharge of a number of temporary employees and a general reduction of employment in that department.

3.   Will he state what classes of postal works are to be curtailed, and the number of temporary employees in the several States who will be discharged by the department as the result of the curtailment of certain works?

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   All departments were requested by the Government to exercise care in the expenditure of funds, so that it might be possible to more readily meet the needs of defence expenditure.

2.   Because of the needs of the service, it would be impracticable to effect any appreciable curtailment in the new works programme of the Postmaster-General's, Department, which is consequently being executed in accordance with the proposals in the budget, which were formulated many weeks before the instruction referred to was issued. At the most, it is not anticipated that more than £45,000 can be saved under this heading and this amount will relate principally to the purchase of stores which would normally be delivered at the end of the financial year.

3.   As no curtailment of the projected works is being made, temporary employees will not be discharged for this reason, but only the services of men employed in a temporary capacity who are no longer needed to carry out the approved works programme will be dispensed with.

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