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Wednesday, 7 July 1915

Senator MAUGHAN (Queensland) . - I wish to draw the attention of the Minister representing the Postmaster-

General to the complaints I have received regarding the non-delivery of letters to the troops abroad. If the Minister will consult the Postmaster-General on the matter, I think he will be able to bring about some reform. Every mail brings me letters on the subject. A prominent citizen of Warwick, Queensland, writes: -

Can nothing bo done so as to insure the delivery of letters in reasonable time to the wounded, and also to the men who are serving their country so gloriously at the front?

I have a .son who has been at Mena some weeks, having been one of those who was wounded at the landing on 25th April, and in his letter, dated 25th May, he states that lie had received no letters from any one or a newspaper either for six weeks. I can- understand some confusion taking place in the early days, but six weeks is too long a time for our brave fellows to be kept without their correspondence. I am not one of those who airs his grievances through the press, neither do I believe in worrying the defence authorities if I can help it. Cannot you suggest some way by which letters and papers should be delivered to the men?

That is a sample of many letters I have received, and I have no doubt other honorable senators are in the same position. I quite recognise that there are difficulties, but I would again urge the Minister to consult the Postmaster-General, and see if something cannot be done to insure the delivery of correspondence, especially to the wounded in the hospitals. I would urge the Minister of Defence to call into consultation with him in connexion with the question of munitions, in addition to those gentlemen whose names - have already been published, representatives of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers and other Australian unions. I can show the Minister English newspaper cuttings stating that the Minister of War has already been in consultation with leading members of no less than twenty or thirty trade unions. Whilst I have no desire to depreciate the capacity of the men who have been appointed, I think the Board would be improved if some members from trade unions, and especially from the engineering trade, were called in to give the Government the benefit of their advice at this important period in our history.

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