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SJ No 30 - 09 December 1908
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Ill

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA.

111

No. 30.

JOURNALS OF THE SENATE

WEDNESDAY, 9th DECEMBER, 1908.

1. M eeting of S enate.—The Senate met pursuant to adjournment.

2. PRAYERS.

3. T elegraph D epartment : E xaminations for P romotion—Senator Stewart, pursuant to notice, asked the Minister for Defence—As the examination for advancement beyond £120 per annum in the Telegraph Department, and the use of the automatic transmitter for testing officers previous to promotion as telegraphists, have both been abandoned, is it the intention of the Government to recoup the amount of salary lost by those officers who failed in what are now admitted to have been unnecessary tests of proficiency ; and, in addition, to restore them to their proper status.

The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) replied—The increases to the telegraphists referred to were not granted, as they failed to show that they had attained a reasonable standard of telegraphic efficiency. As all new entrants to telegraphists' ranks are now required to pass a similar test prior to appointment, the examination for promotion beyond £120 per annum was recently abolished, but this gives no claim to those who failed to meet the requirements of the service at

the time the passing of the examination was necessary to gain advancement. The use of the automatic transmitter in telegraphy examinations has not been abolished.

4. P ost Offices, M aryborough and T oowoomba, Queensland : D espatching O fficers.—Senator Stewart, pursuant to notice, asked the Minister for Defence— (1) Is it the case that despatching officers were removed from the Post Offices at Maryborough (Q.) and Toowoomba to other offices some months ago, and that the

work is now being done by sorters at lower salaries. (2) Is it the intention of the Postmaster-General to abolish the position of despatching officer at the Post Offices named. (3) If not, when will appointments be made to the vacant positions at Maryborough

and Toowoomba.

The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) replied— Inquiries are being made, and the desired information will be furnished as early as possible.

5. General P ost Office, R risbane : H ours of E mployes.—Senator Stewart, pursuant to notice, asked the Minister for Defence— (1) Is it the case that at the Brisbane General Post Office several men start work on three days weekly at 5.30 or 5.45 a.m., and do not finish till 9.45 p.m.—being on duty for

between fifteen and sixteen hours. (2) If so, will the Postmaster-General make such arrangements as will enable the men to get through their work in a straightout eight-hour day.

The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) replied— Inquiries are being made, and the desired information will be furnished as early as possible.

F. 10290.

No. 30.— 9 th December , 1908 . 112

0. T ransferred P roperties : A mount of V aluation, E tc.— Senator Walker, pursuant to notice, asked the Vice-President of the Executive Council— (1) What is the agreed upon valuation of properties that are to be transferred from the States to the Commonwealth.

(2) How does the Government propose to pay for these properties.

The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator McGregor) replied— (1) Assuming that the honorable Senator refers to the properties which are transferred, the ■ valuation is £9,648,449.

(2) The matter is under consideration.

7. Oil F uel for M arine E ngines as a Contraband of W ar.—Senator Keating, pursuant to notice, asked the Minister for Defence—Having regard to the increasing use of oil fuel for marine engines and the early possibility of its inclusion in ihe list of articles contraband of war, and to the reported statement that during the present year the British Admiralty despatched officers to

Canada for the specific purpose of ascertaining the location of oil deposits in that Dominion— (1) Has the Government received any communication from or been in any way approached by the British Admiralty with regard to Australia’s resources in this respect. . (2.) If .not, .will the Government endeavour to ascertain what action' in this matter the

Admiralty has taken with regard to other portions of the Empire, and will the Government take such action as it may think necessary to bring under the notice of the British Admiralty any suitable oil deposits that may exist in the Commonwealth.

The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator McGregor) replied— (1) No. (2) Yes.

8. P apers.—The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator McGregor) laid on the Table the following Papers, viz. :— By Command — Transferred Properties—Summary of Valuations ; also Comparison of Actual Amounts

of Valuations for each State with Distribution of Total of Valuations on the basis of Population as at 31st March, 1901.

Pursuant to Statute— Lands Acquisition Act 1906.—Return showing land disposed of at Bamawartha, Victoria, and Cargo, New South Wales.

9. M essage from the H ouse of R epresentatives—A ppropriation B ill 1908-9.—The following Message from the House of Representatives was received and read :—-M r. P r e-ident, Message No. 7.

The House of Representatives transmits to the Senate a Bill intituled “ A Bill for an Act to (/rant a id apply a sum out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the service of the year ending the thirtieth day i f June One thousand nine hundred and nine and to appropriate the Supplies granted for such year in this an t the last-preceding session o f the Parliament,” with which it

desires the concurrence of the Senate.

F. W, HOLDER,

House of Representatives, Speaker.

Melbourne, 9tli December, 1908.

10. S uspension of Standing O rders.— T he Vice-President of th e Executive Council (Senator McGregor), pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the Appropriation Bill 1908-9 being passed through all its stages without delay.

Question—put and passed. 11. A ppropriation B ill 1908-9.·—The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) moved—That the Appropriation Bill 1 908-9 be now read a first time.

. Debate ensued.

At half-past six p.m. the sitting of the Senate was suspended till a quarter to eight p.m.

Debate continued. . .

Question—put and passed.

Bill read a first time. The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) moved—That the Appropriation Bill 1908-9 "be now read a second time. ■

Question—put and passed. .

Bill read a second time. The Senate, according to Order, resolved itself into a Committee for the consideration of the Bill.

In the Committee,

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clauses 2 and 3 postponed.

113 No. 30 .— 9th December , 1908 .

First Schedule agreed to.

Second Schedule— Division 1 read.

To report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

The President resumed the C hair; and Senator Dobson, from the Committee, reported that the Committee had considered the Bill and had made progress, and asked leave to sit again.

Ordered—That the Committee have leave to sit again to-morrow.

12. N ext M eeting of Senate.—The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator McGregor) moved—That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till half-past ten a.m. to-morrow. Question—put and passed.

13. A djournment.— The Senate adjourned at eighteen minutes past eleven p.m. till to-morrow, at half­ past ten a.m.

14. Attendance.— Present, all the Members except Senators Fraser, McColl, Col. Neild, Sir J. H. Symon, and Vardon.

C. B. BOYDELL, Clerk of the Senate.

P rinted and Published for the Government o f the Commonwealth o f A ustralia bv J. K emp, Government P rin ter for the State of Victoria.