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Tuesday, 24 February 1959

Mr DAVIDSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - I should inform the honorable member that one of the minor problems of this portfolio is determining the basis on which the vast and increasing number of applications for the issue of stamps to commemorate certain important matters shall be decided. I agree with the honorable member that the establishment of a vehicular ferry service between the mainland of Australia and Tasmania is a very important event to Tasmania and I think that due credit should be given to the Government for its action in establishing the service.

The question of issuing commemorative stamps has become so difficult that, some considerable time ago, a definite programme was laid down to determine what should constitute the reasons for their issue. They are confined mainly to matters such as the flora and fauna of Australia, the communications system, the development of our primary industries, and so on. It seems to me, at first sight, that the proposal put forward by the honorable member does not come within the ambit of the department's policy in regard to the issue of a particular stamp.

If the honorable member feels that the inauguration of this ferry service is worthy of some method of recognition through the Post Office to bring it within the purview of other Australians, particular postmarks can be agreed upon between the interested parties and the Post Office by means of which, over a period, the date mark carries a certain slogan drawing attention to the special event or item. This has proved to be a very valuable medium for advertising matters such as the honorable member has mentioned.

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