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Wednesday, 13 April 1921

Senator KEATING asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -

1.   Were mails despatched from Melbourne to Tasmania on 25th March (Good Friday) by s.s. Oonah, leaving at 12 noon, and by t.s.s. Loongana, leaving at 2 p.m.?

2.   Were such mails closed at the General Post Office, Melbourne, at 3.40 p.m. of the previous day?

3.   Why so long before the actual despatching times?

4.   At what hour or hours were mails for Sydney and for Adelaide closed at the General Post Office in Melbourne, in the case of -

(a)   Mails despatched on the day previous to Good Friday.

(6)   Mails despatched (if any) on Good Friday?

SenatorRUSSELL. - The answers are -

1.   No. Good Friday is treated as a Sunday, and all postal business entirely suspended. The Oonah left for Tasmania at 7 p.m. the previous day.

2.   Ordinary mails for despatch by the s.s. Oonah, which left at 7 p.m. on Thursday, closed at the General Post Office at 4 p.m., late fee 4.15 p.m. (time of closing at Elizabethstreet office twenty , minutes earlier). Letters could also be posted in the box at the top of the gangway of the ship right up to the time of sailing on payment of a fee of 1d. in addition to ordinary postage.

3.   A later clearance would have necessitated the detention of the staff and payment at overtime rates. It is considered that the time stated above fully met all public requirements. 4. (a) At the usual hour, viz. -

Adelaide, 3.30 p.m., late fee, General Post Office, 3.50 p.m., and at Spencer-street Station, 4.20 p.m.

Sydney, 4 p.m., late fee, General Post Office, 4.15 p.m., and at Spencer-street Station, 4.50 p.m.

(b)   No mails despatched on Good Friday.

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