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Wednesday, 24 May 1939


Mr BERNARD CORSER (Wide Bay) . - I am not so much concerned as to whether the building under discussion is to be faced with a few sheets of terra cotta or with terra Erma. In Martin-place are two' great banking buildings which will everlastingly he an eyesore from the viewpoint of architectural beauty.


Mr SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member may not discuss such matters on this motion.


Mr BERNARD CORSER - This has a very big bearing on the question as to whether terra cotta or sandstone should be used. The former Minister for Works (Mr. Thorby) and some honorable members have adduced the argument that if terra cotta were used the appearance of the building would not be in harmony with that of other buildings in Pittstreet which are faced with sandstone. I am merely pointing out that an example of such lack of harmony can be seen in Martin-place. I agree that the present trouble has been occasioned by the non-submission of this work to the Public Works Committee. I am afraid that in some of the departments the permanent head desires always to run the whole show. I do not propose to hold the present Postmaster-General (Mr. Harrison) responsible for what has occurred in this case - much was done before he became ministerial head of thedepartment - but it does appear that the trouble with which we are dealing had its genesis in the desire of the permanent head of the department to keep everything within his own control and to obtain provision whenever he asked for it. I do not think that the present building should be' demolished in order that there shall .be a new building. The department should be able to utilize the existing building.


Mr Archie Cameron - It is going to do so.


Mr BERNARD CORSER - It is not; the building is to be pulled down.


Mr Archie Cameron - None of it is to be pulled down.


Mr Paterson - There is to be an altogether new building alongside it.


Mr BERNARD CORSER - If the honorable member goes to Sydney, he will find that Hoffnung's building, for which over £300,000 was paid, and which is one of the best buildings in Pitt-street, is first to be demolished. I contend that the money for the new building can be better used in the country.


Mr Lane - I rise to a point of order. I submit that the honorable gentleman is not entitled under this motion to discuss the demolition of Hoffnung's building.


Mr SPEAKER - As I was speaking to an honorable member privately, I did not hear the remark of the honorable member for Wide Bay, but I have, ruled that, as the motion before the Chair relates to -a definite matter, the debate must be confined to that matter-: .


Mr BERNARD CORSER - No question would arise as to whether the new building should be faced with terra cotta or sandstone, if it had not been for the initial wrong in allowing a great edifice to be pulled down.


Mr SPEAKER - Order !


Mr BERNARD CORSER - Many honorable members frequently ask for the provision of additional postal and telephonic facilities in country districts, but we are informed that no money is available for that purpose.


Mr SPEAKER - I am afraid that the honorable member is evading, if not deliberately defying, my ruling. The matter that he is now discussing is entirely beyond the scope of the motion.


Mr BERNARD CORSER - It is proposed to place on the front of the new building either terra cotta or sandstone. This will mean a large expenditure by the postal department from revenue.


Mr SPEAKER - The question of how the cost of the new post office is to be met does not come within the scope of the motion.


Mr BERNARD CORSER - It is evidently impossible, within the terms of the motion, to discuss the matter from the point of view of the residents of country constituencies. Your ruling, Mr. Speaker, limits me to saying that I do not think that this building should have any front at all.


Mr SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member may not proceed on those lines.







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