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Thursday, 14 May 1942

Senator LAMP (Tasmania) .- 1. take this opportunity to support the claims of the forgotten legion of non-official postmasters for an increase of their allowances. For some time past these allowances have been fixed according to the volume of business handled by the respective offices. However,, despite the: substantial increase of the work now handled in non-official post offices, including the payment of soldiers' pensions and child endowment, and the distribution of petrol ration tickets, the allowances of these officials have not been increased for some considerable time. On every occasion tha.t I visit isolated towns in Tasmania, the person conducting a nonofficial post office wants to know when the allowance will be increased. It is generally admitted that the cost of living has risen by as much as 10 per cent, since the outbreak of the war. In that period., however, the allowances paid by the Postal Department to these officers has not been reviewed. In addition to the duties which I have already mentioned, they are now required to attend to the payment of invalid and old-age pensions and maternity allowances, and the collection of wireless licence-fees, whilst they will soon be obliged to handle widows' pensions. I urge the Postmaster-General (Senator Ashley) to consider the claims of these officers with a view to making some allowance in respect of the extra duties imposed upon them.

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