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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Sir WILFRED KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - Clause 27 deals with the postage of forms and other matter. Apparently all forms are posted, but there is to be a conclave of heads of departments about the postage because the clause seeks to amend section 58 of the principal act -

(b)   by adding at the end thereof the following sub-sections: - " (2.) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Parliament for the administration of this Act in a financial year such amount as is agreed upon between the Minister and the PostmasterGeneral to be equal to the amounts which, but for the last preceding sub-section, would be payable during that financial year in respect of the transmission through the post of forms of registration and other documents provided for by this Act.

Surely, in this day and age, instead of highly paid public servants conferring to ascertain the amount that should be paid, it would be very much simpler to use franking machines. In these days of postal franking machines, it is not necessary to buy stamps and lick them. The forms could be franked for postage before they are despatched. If the forms and other matter covered by this proposed amendment are not to be posted free, andif the Postal Department is to be reimbursed after somebody has estimated the number of forms that have been posted, I cannot understand why the officials cannot use franking machines and save all this unnecessary bother.

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