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Tuesday, 2 May 1961

Mr DAVIDSON - The undertaking given some time ago that all first-class mail would be sent by air mail included a qualification that that practice would be followed when, obviously, it would provide a faster means of delivery than would carriage of the mail train. There are times when carriage by rail gives a faster service than carriage by air, and I think that in the case mentioned by the honorable member for Watson this qualification would apply. I appreciate very much indeed the honorable member's advice that he and others have been prepared to assist the PostmasterGeneral's Department in the loading of mail on to the train mentioned. I am sure that this arises from a desire by the honorable member for Watson to assist our communications rather than from any thought that he might himself obtain any advantage.

I advised the House some time ago that we were making very careful investigations into the time taken to deliver air mail in order to see how the present methods were working out. I have not yet received the final report on those investigations, but I expect to have it soon and I shall let the House know the contents as soon as possible. We are constantly watching the development of this new service in order to ensure that the objectives which the department set out to achieve are in fact being achieved.

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