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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Works, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that 35 serious charges, including one of conspiracy, have been preferred by the Commonwealth against the Sydney firm of builders trading as Messrs. Cody and Willis Proprietary Limited and its principals?

2.   To what offences do the other charges relate?

3.   When was this matter first brought to notice, and when were investigations first instituted by the Commonwealth?

4.   Who conducted the inquiries, and when was a report of their finding submitted to the Government?

5.   Is it a fact that the court proceedings have been repeatedly adjourned?

6.   On how many occasions has the matter been before the court and adjourned?

7.   At whose request and for what reason was the adjournment in each instance granted?

8.   What is the present position, and when is it expected that finality will be reached?

Mr Fairhall - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   The other charges are laid under Section 29B of the Crimes Act. There are 32 charges of misrepresentation against Cody and Willis Proprietary Limited, Thomas Edward Cody and Vincent James Morrison and there are three charges of misrepresentation against Thomas Edward Cody and Cody and Willis Proprietary Limited.

3.   The matter was first brought to notice in November, 1952, and investigations were commenced immediately.

4.   Officers of the Department of Works and of the Commonwealth Investigation Service conducted extensive inquiries and reports were submitted by the Commonwealth Investigation Service from time to time between 6th September 1954. and 1st August, 1955. 5, 6, 7 and 8. The case now being before the court, it is not proper that I should comment on the proceedings beyond saying that three of the defendants have been committed for trial on one charge and two of them have been committed for trial on two other charges, the remaining charges having been adjourned in the meantime in accordance with the usual practice in such cases.

Non-official Post Offices.

Mr Griffiths s asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   What is the yearly cost to the Postal Depart ment of running non-official post offices at Dudley, Whitebridge and Redhead?

2.   What number of staff is employed at each centre?

3.   Is there a daily postal delivery service at each centre; if so, is a junior or senior officer employed?

4.   What is the rate of pay received by each officer at each post office?

5.   Are full postal and telegraph services available at each centre, and is any other service available?

Mr Davidson - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Dudley, £1,254 10s.; Whitebridge, £1,003: Redhead, £1,313.

2.   In each case the non-official postmaster is the only departmental employee.

3.   Yes. In each case the letter delivery service is arranged by the non-official postmaster who is paid a special allowance mutually agreed upon for this purpose. At Dudley and Redhead the postmaster employs an adult for the letter deliveries and a junior eighteen years of age is employed by the postmaster at Whitebridge.

4.   The personal allowance payable to each postmaster is: Dudley, £793; Whitebridge, £568 10s.; Redhead, £787. Other allowances payable, excluding those in respect of 'letter and telegram delivery services, amount to £162 10s., £147 10s. and £164 respectively. Performance of the letter and telegram deliveries is a private arrangement between the postmaster and the person concerned.

5.   Yes, and telephone facilities are also available at each office.

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