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Tuesday, 9 August 1904

Mr MAHON (COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) - I certainly shall make further inquiries. It would appear, from the information furnished by the honorable member, that there has been some misapprehension. When the Department was under State control, the authorities supplied medicines at the outlying stations, and it may be that in the departmental view this duty still rests with the State Government, because it cannot be contended that it is necessary for the proper administration of the Telegraph service that medicines and surgical appliances should be supplied in such cases. They are provided for the convenience and assistance of persons who are travelling, and that being so, I conceive that the matter is entirely within the domain of the State Government.

Sir Langdon Bonython - But the officers employed at the stations, and also the stations, are under the control of the Federal Government.

Mr MAHON - That is so, and to the extent that such officers require medicines or surgical appliances, I presume that the Department will be prepared to supply them; but I am not aware that it is our duty to keep medicines or appliances for the convenience of the travelling public. However, I shall make further inquiries, and furnish the honorable member with any additional information that mav be available.

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