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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - It is impossible to enter into a contract which stipulates damages sufficient to make good the losses that people suffer by the late delivery of mail. Under the Post and Telegraph Regulations the only penalty that can be imposed against the shipping line which does not carry out the terms of the contract entered into is, as I understand it, one of £50. There is no responsibility attaching to the Post Office in respect of this matter. We played our part by having some 5,000 bags of mail delivered to the wharf in Melbourne and available when the ship berthed, but after it had loaded only a proportion of this mail, in order that it might leave on a particular tide the ship, which had a very tight schedule, just - if I may use the term - upped anchor and left. There is no contract that places a time and obligation on the company beyond that provided for in the Act.

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