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Tuesday, 30 June 1903


Sir EDMUND BARTON - Referring to the following questions asked by the honorable member for Coolgardie last week : -

1.   Does the Postmaster-General not consider that economy and expedition would be promoted if the English and other mails were sorted during the four days passage of mail steamers from Fremantle to Adelaide ?

2.   Has this question been formally considered since the Commonwealth assumed control of the Department ; and, if not, will the PostmasterGeneral cause inquiry to be made ?

3.   Has the attention of the Postmaster-General been directed to the lack of up-to-date facilities at Largs Bay for discharging mails, and to the great delay which usually occurs in placing them on the mail train ?

4.   Have any complaints been made to the Department by or on behalf of the. staff of sorters engaged on the trains between Adelaide and Melbourne?

I am now in a position to answer the honorable member's questions. The replies are as follow : -

1.   The Postmaster-General does not consider that economy or any considerable expedition would be promoted if the English and other mails were sorted during the passage from Fremantle to Adelaide.

2.   Reports have been obtained from the Deputy Postmasters-General of Victoria and South Australia quite recently, and the question has been formally and fully considered.

3.   The attention of the Postmaster-General has not been directed to the lack of facilities at Largs Bay for discharging mails, or to any great and unusual delays in placing them on the mail train. Delays sometimes occur in rough weather, but as a rule the mails reach Adelaide in about three or four hours from the time of the steamer anchoring.

4.   No complaints have been made to the Department by or on behalf of the staff of sorters engaged on the trains between Adelaide and Melbourne, except that it has been stated that the work could be more expeditiously performed if larger vans were provided.







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