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Thursday, 8 April 1965

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted.

Senator ANDERSON - The PostmasterGeneral has supplied the following answers -

1.   Payments to the railways are based on rates per lb. in agreed zones. The number of zones in each railway system varies and ranges from one zone to six zones. The following amounts per lb. paid by the Commonwealth to the Department of Railways in each State and to the Commonwealth Government Railways for the conveyance of mail have therefore been derived from the total weights and total payments in respect of the mail carried during a full year -


2.   Payments for the conveyance of mail by air are made on a weight distance basis and are quoted in terms of pence per lb. mile. It is not practicable for the Post Office to express them in terms of rates per lb. However, based on mail uplifts as shown in statistics of Australian regular air transport services for the year ended 30th June 1964 which are issued by the Department of Civil Aviation and the actual payments made by the Post Office in respect of the mails conveyed during that year, the following rates per lb. paid by the Post Office to the domestic airline operators have been derived -


3.   In the case of the railways the rate structure was last altered on 1st January 1962 for each system. In the case of the airlines the rate structure for all operators was determined as from the introduction of " Post Haste " on 1st November 1959. Since then, the rate for MacRobertson Miller Airlines was reduced on 1st July 1964 and the rate for Connellan Airways Ltd. was increased as from 1st January 1963.

4.   The total amounts paid to each of the railway systems for mail conveyance over the last five years were as follows -


Senator O'Byrne - I rise to a point of order. As the Senate has limited time on the air, I feel that in having answers to questions incorporated in " Hansard " instead of having them read in the chamber we are depriving the people of Australia of an opportunity to hear this information. This practice reduces the amount of time given to the rebroadcasting at night of questions asked in the Senate and I should like to have your ruling, Mr. President, as to whether it is in order.

The PRESIDENT - As I see it, the position is that it is the responsibility of the Senate to carry out its business efficiently and understandably. As far as the broadcast of proceedings is concerned, it is a very important part of the work of the Senate but the Senate is not here for the purpose of broadcasting. I think most of these long and involved statements with masses of figures are completely unintelligible to listeners and are of no interest to them.

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