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Wednesday, 7 December 1927

Senator REID (Queensland) . - I cannot understand why. the PostmasterGeneral's Department shouldbe burdened with the cost of the refrigerated space which is made available on mail boats, and paid for in a lump sum under a contract which also covers the carriage of mails.

Senator Crawford - It is not the only unnecessary burden which the department has to carry.

Senator REID - It seems unreasonable that that department should have to provide the money, which should be found by the Department of Markets and Migration.

Senator Andrew - Possibly it is an advantage to include it in the one contract.

Senator REID - I trust that when a further contract is entered into the cost will be apportioned between the departments concerned.

Evidence was given before the Public Works Committee to the effect that of late years the telephone system in the metropolitan areas has been so successfully developed, that it is now one of the best sources of revenue to the department. While the telephone activities of the department were confined largely to the cities, thousands of pounds of profit were being made; but when country services were extended, the sur-' plus was absorbed, and. the telephone department is now losing money. This is one direction in which the city people are helping the rural settlers, who, I think, are entitled to a service whichwill make country life more attractive.

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