Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 16 September 1949

Dame Enid Lyons (DARWIN, TASMANIA) asked the Minister, for Repatriation, upon notice -

1.   Has the medical superintendent or the secretary of the Repatriation General Hospital, Hollywood, Perth, been empowered to exercise supreme authority over the voluntary distribution by outside welfare bodies of magazines and other reading matter to patients in that hospital; if so, for what purpose?

2.   If not, why are only representatives of the .Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia or battalion auxiliaries permitted to distribute reading matter to these hospital patients?

3.   If no restriction on the distribution of magazines' has been ordered by the Minister or officials of his department, will he ask the medical superintendent or the secretary to allow other welfare bodies to distribute reading matter to patients at regular intervals?

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

l.   No. 2 and 3. There are 25 organizations visiting the hospitals now. The administration endeavours to be as liberal as possible in permitting visitations by welfare bodies, but there must . be some limitation as excessive visiting can interfere with treatment. Visiting hours, both day and night, are generous and persons interested in the. patients are welcome during those hours to provide suitable reading matter. Any organization can forward books and magazines for distribution to the patients, and the distribution will bc gladly undertaken by the hospital authorities. The publications can be suitably marked by the organization providing them if that is desired by them, bo that they may be identified with their action of making them available.

Shipping: CLEARANCE op Cargoes

Mr POLLARD D - On. the 7th September, the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Falkinder) asked the following question : -

Will the Minister for Trade and Customs have an investigation made into the excessive delays occasioned by the Department of Trade and Customs in the slow clearance of cargoes from overseas and interstate ships in Australian ports to the firms to which the goods are consigned?

The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following information : -

A survey over the last two months in the States of Kew South Wales and Victoria has disclosed that the maximum delay in clearing any cargo through the customs has been three days, and the average maximum delay has been slightly under two days. Customs officers at the main ports work overtime in order to keep delay in clearance of cargoes to a minimum. I might add that the statement that the Department of Trade and Customs is to blame for delays in clearance of cargoes is frequently a popular and convenient excuse for neglect on the part of others concerned. Apparently it' is not generally realized that the clearance of goods requires action also from shipping companies, consignees and. customs agents. Complaints made .by importers as to delays in clearing their goods have been investigated and, almost invariably, the fault has been proved to lie with themselves or their agents.

Suggest corrections