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Friday, 28 October 1904


Mr KING O'MALLEY (Darwin) - I have a serious complaint against the Government upon the present occasion. Only a few weeks ago, I endeavoured to secure a mail service to King Island, which is a British settlement containing a population of 700 white men and women. In the New Hebrides, however, . there are only 214 British subjects and thirty-four missionaries. The latter are non.-producers. There is a total population of 494 white persons settled there. It is now proposed that we should increase the mail subsidy to these islands by £6,000, despite the fact that an island situated midway between Victoria and Tasmania, upon which are settled 700 whitehearted, white British subjects, cannot obtain adequate mail communication with the mainland. The trade of the New Hebrides is estimated at £18,000 per annum. Whv, one shipment of cattle from King Island would be worth more than that sum. When I appealed to the late Government to grant mail communication to the settlers of King Island, the honorable member for Coolgardie, who was then Postmaster-General, declared that because it would involve an expenditure of £500 about once a month, my request could not be acceded to. Yet the Commonwealth is now asked to spend 6,000 cold, hard, sovereigns for antiquated black roosters in other parts of the world. In Tasmania, there are places like Camp Creek and Rover Creek, where there are from 200 to 300 British subjects, and which are denied the benefit of a post-office because it would involve an expenditure of £15 a year. The honorable member for Denison, when PostmasterGeneral, absolutely destroyed daily mail communication to Stowport, because by so doing he could effect a saving of , £15 per annum. By acting thus, he deprived British subjects who had resided there for forty years of the benefits conferred by a daily mail. Without delaying the Committee, I wish to say that I shall vote against the item.







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