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Tuesday, 29 November 1938

Mr JENNINGS (Watson) .- Although it is generally considered that the Postmaster-General's department is efficiently organized, I am impelled to emphasize the fact that there is a great deal of discontent concerning the charges imposed. I suggest that the department make some differentiation in the matter of postal rates, as it does in respect to telegraph rates within a State.

Mr Archie Cameron - I can tell the honorable member quite frankly that that will not be done.

Mr JENNINGS - That is surprising from the Minister. The people will be very dissatisfied when they know that there is no immediate prospect of any such reduction being made, and, doubtless, more will be heard on the subject at an early date. There has been a good deal of agitation concerning telephone charges. Every one recognizes that some means should be employed to enable a subscriber's calls to be registered where a telephone is installed. Surely it is not impossible to install reliable meters as i? done in connexion with the supply of gas, electricity, and water.

Mr Archie Cameron - Many complaints are made concerning the meters used for such purposes.

Mr JENNINGS - But telephone subscribers are denied any check at all - they are at the mercy of the present system. In order to remove the public discontent which at present prevails, the Minister should have an investigation made into the suitability of some of the devices which are now available for checking telephone calls. I understand that he is at present investigating an invention, and I hope that some relief will be afforded to subscribers, many of whom consider that they are overcharged.

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