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Thursday, 14 May 1942


Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) . - I support Senator Lamp's plea for an increase of the allowances paid to non-official postmasters. I have interested myself in the affairs of these deserving postal officers for many years, and, largely as the result of representations that I have made, some consideration has been given to their claims. The allowances paid to non-official postmasters are. fixed according to the volume of business which they transact, but the figures shown on their monthly returns do not by any means reflect the value of the services that they render, not only to the Postal Department, but also to the public generally. Although they endeavour to observe ordinary business hours, they are at the call of people residing in their districts at all hours of the day and night. They also arrange for mail to be distributed to scattered homes by school chil dren, and, in doing so, they accept a certain amount of responsibility. Their duties cannot be measured adequately by the volume of business shown on their monthly returns. The last increase allowed to these officers brought the minimum allowance to £1 a week. About two years ago, when the basic wage was increased I asked the then PostmasterGeneral to grant an increase of their allowances proportionate to the basic wage increase. Since then, the basic wage has increased further, and I now repeat my request to the PostmasterGeneral. Non-official postmasters have no public service classification, and,' in many cases, they provide rooms in their own houses for use as post offices at inconvenience to themselves. I support Senator Lamp's claims on their behalf. The Postal Department, which has a monopoly and has abundant revenue, could well afford to be generous to this small section of its servants.







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