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Tuesday, 3 December 1935

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) [9.25 J . There is a file about 3 feet thick in the department relating to the matter of the South Brisbane Post Office, and I am sure that the subject is engraven on the hearts of my predecessors as it is on mine. I can give to the honorable senator no assurance other than that I shall endeavour to visit Brisbane when the weather moderates.

Honorable senators will be pleased to . learn that the department has been able to absorb in the Services a considerable number of seniors who had previously been doing junior duties. During the present year it is hoped to absorb a still larger number. The dismissal of mechanics and linesmen is inevitable from time to time, and I admit, that the retrenchment was particularly drastic in Victoria. Owing to the visit of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester, and the damage to telephonic and telegraphic communication caused by floods, it became necessary to employ hundreds of men to effect repairs, but when that work was completed a number of those men had to be dismissed. The department has eased down the position as best it can, and, in view of the increased business of the post office lately, hopes to re-engage some of the men. Representations have been made to me by returned soldiers' organizations, and a percentage of returned soldiers will be re-employed. I regret that not many vacancies are available for mechanics, but a. lot of work is being found for linesmen. The department is operating on an economical basis, and is endeavouring to distribute work equitably as between outside temporary employees and men who have been employed in the Service on junior's work.

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