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Wednesday, 1 October 1902

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) - I should like to add to what the honorable and learned member for Bendigo has said that a number of officers in the Postal department are required to do extra work in connexion with the Savings banks of the States. If the States are charging the Commonwealth for work done for us by their officials, I think that we should put in a counter claim for work done for them by our officials. The Commonwealth is not being generously criticised by men in high official positions in the States, and I think that we should treat them as they treat us.

Mr. MAHON(Coolgardie).- The matter to which the honorable member for Yarra and the honorable and learned member for Bendigo referred is one to which I drew the attention of the Government many months ago. I pointed out then that the work in connexion with the Savings banks in many of the States is being performed by Commonwealth officers. In Western Australia

Commonwealth officers are also occasionally engaged in the collection of duties imposed by the special State Tariff. I do not consider the charge made by the States for the services of their officers an unfair one, but I think that a corresponding charge should be made by the Commonwealth for the work done for the States by Commonwealth officers. In many instances Commonwealth officers have to work overtime in the- performance of their State duties, without extra remuneration. I brought the matter under the notice of the Minister representing die PostmasterGeneral many months ago, and received from him a conditional promise that something would be paid to these officers, but nothing has been done. At Coolgardie several of the postal officials, owing to the Savings bank business which they have to transact for the State, are kept at work on Saturdays almost continuously from nine a.m. until half-past nine p.m., and two of them work ten hours a week more than the other members of the staff,, chiefly in attending to Savings bank transactions. I think it is right that Commonwealth officers should do this work, but we should insist that they shall be paid for the extra hours which it occupies.

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