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Thursday, 5 October 1911

Senator WALKER (New South Wales) . - I am very sorry that any honorable senator should think that there is anything of a party nature in this motion. I do not hold that view. I am quite sure that Senator McColl referred to the policy of the Department for years back, and not merely to the policy of the present Government. The motion was not intended, I take it, to raise a party issue. Far from it. I wish that it had been worded differently, and that we had been asked to affirm that this system should be discontinued j but, apparently, it is not to be discontinued. There was a good deal of truth in the remarks of Senator Henderson. It must be remembered that the persons iri outside districts do contribute to the revenue. Other persons get the benefit of penny postage to Great Britain, but that is of very little advantage to the people in the back districts, who have to pay their share of the indirect loss on that service. We recognise our duty to them by to them the same telegraph facilities as we give elsewhere, for I understand that a telegram can be sent from one part of Australia to the other for one shilling.

Senator Millen - But these persons have not a telegraph-office in which to lodge a telegram.

Senator WALKER - At all events, where there is a telegraph-office, persons do enjoy that advantage. I would be glad if Senator McColl could see his way to modify his motion, because it has the appearance of finding fault with the Department which happens to be under the present Administration j though I think that he' had no such intention. It is the system which he objected to, and not the present Government. I believe that good will come from the motion, whether it is carried or not, because -it will assure the Postal authorities that they have the sympathy of the Senate in any efforts which they may put forth to increase the comfort of ' the fine pioneers of this country. I would like to see every possible advantage given to persons who labour under such disadvantages as they" do;

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