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Tuesday, 29 November 1938


Sir CHARLES MARR (Parkes) . - I desire to bring under the notice of the Postmaster-General (Mr. Archie Cameron) the excessive rates which passengers on vessels travelling between Australia and New Zealand have to pay for radio telephone conversations, and for radiograms, between the ship and Australia. The rates are about four times as high as those charged between the ship and New Zealand.


Mr Archie Cameron - Communications between ships at sea and Australia are handled by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited, not by the post office.


Sir CHARLES MARR - Whoever * handles them, I think that some action should be taken to bring the rates more into line with those to New Zealand.

I also desire to call the attention of the Minister for the Interior (Mr. McEwen) to the existing arrangements for the inspection of the passports of Australians returning by sea to this country. Recently, the Monterey arrived at Sydney carrying 900 passengers. I want to know if . the Minister can so arrange matters as to spare returning Australians the indignity of having to line up with aliens to have their passports inspected, as was required of them on that occasion.


Mr McEwen - The matter will be looked into.

Mr.DRAKEFORD (Maribyrnong) jil. 20]. - I support the request of the honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Blain) that a tribunal should be established to hear the claims of railway men and others in the Government service working in the Northern Territory. If the Public Service Arbitrator were empowered to deal with all such cases it would be more satisfactory both to the department and to the men. Failing that, a local tribunal should be created. Under the present arrangement the men are being brought down from the Northern Territory to Port Augusta to have their claims discussed at conferences, and they go away probably as dissatisfied as they were before.

I should like to discuss several other matters, but I am prevented by the curtailment of time. It is absurd that, after waiting patiently until the relevant item comes before the committee, we should then be debarred by an unwarranted limitation of time from discussing it. The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin) referred to the housing of railway workers. That is a matter which cannot be discussed adequately in the time allowed, and we therefore propose to approach the Minister by letter so that the matter may be dealt with during the recess.


Mr McEwen - I shall inquire into the individual cases mentioned by the honorable member for Hindmarsh.







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