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Thursday, 21 July 1904

Mr MAHON - The answer to the honorable member's question was ready, but owing to his absence from the House I was not in the position to communicate it. The honorable member asked whether the services of telegraph construction overseers in New South Wales had been dispensed with. The answer is: -

No; but a number of temporary construction overseers have not been employed, as it was not considered desirable to intrust the supervision of such important work as the construction and repair of telegraph lines to temporary employes. This decision was arrived at in consequence of serious irregularities having been discovered in connexion with work that had been passed by a temporary overseer, and the fact that the Department had not sufficient control over temporary men engaged in this capacity.

The honorable member also asked how the work formerly done by these overseers was being performed. The answer is: -

By line repairers stationed in the locality where such .works are being carried out, and who are officers on the permanent staff of the Department, and by inspectors of construction, who examine and pass the work on completion.

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