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Tuesday, 24 May 1904

Mr MAHON (COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) - The reason why I have not laid them upon the table is that I was informed by the Secretary -to the Department that there is an objection to laying original documents upon the table, and that it would, therefore, be necessary to have each one of them copied. But as the clerks in the central office now work overtime, I did npt think it advisable to put that extra labour upon the staff. However, if any honorable member suspects that any material fact is not disclosed, the papers will be open to his inspection in the Postmaster-General's office.

Mr Johnson - The Minister recognises the charge of unfairness implied in the newspaper statement P

Mr MAHON - No; I do not I think that the Deputy Postmaster-General of Victoria has been treated with extreme consideration. This is by no means the first occasion when he has found himseif censured by the Cabinet of the day. Although one would always like to be able to defend his officers, I cannot conceal the fact that Mr. Outtrim seems to have gone out of his way to look for causes of trouble. More than a year ago he received instructions- in distinct terms from the Secretary to the Department and from the Public Service Commissioner to recognise the Public Service Associations ; but he neglected to comply with those instructions. Had the . matter come before any other honorable member who might have been in my place, he could have given no other decision than that which I gave;

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