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Tuesday, 25 November 1941

Mr BAKER (Maranoa) .- I was astounded to hear the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Collins) advocate the improvement of telephonic and mail services in the outback areas, because last year, when he was Postmaster-General, he refused my plea for the replacement of the post office at Dalby. There would be no building ; there was no money ; there was a war on, he said. Well, the war isstill on.I takethis opportunity,however, to renew my request for the provision of a new post office at Dalby and at other places. The present building, which is required to accommodate 37 employees, is a disgrace. Since this Government has been in office for only six weeks, blame for the conditions under which the postal employees are required to work at Dalby cannot be placed on it. The fault lies with the honorable member for Hume and his predecessors, who were neglectful oftheir duties as Postmasters-General, especially their duty to improve telephonic, telegraphic and mail services in the far west. The new Postmaster-General (Senator Ashley), who is very sympathetic, has told me that he intends to extend those services. The Postal Department last year made a profit of £3,378,565, much of which should be used to extend and better the department's services.

A raw deal has been, given to the nonofficial postmasters and postmistresses. If there is one section of the community which is sweated, it is the section which ie made up of the people who serve in non-official post offices.

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