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Wednesday, 8 May 1968

Mr HULME (Perrie) (Postmaster-General) - I will not keep the House more than a few minutes in answer to the honourable member for Corio (Mr Scholes) who has raised a matter which has been brought to my attention by the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. I understand the original complaint was that it took 4 days for mail to arrive to and from Melbourne. I would like to inform the honourable member that investigations have taken place and that ample tests of mails throughout Victoria have been made. In fact it has been found that there is no justification for the Geelong complaint and that in general terms mails throughout Victoria are being delivered on time and without delay.

A senior postal assistant did, in fact, see the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. Notwithstanding the statement which appeared in the local newspaper and which was brought to the notice of the honourable member, the President merely indicated that some members had complained of delays in the delivery of mail that had been posted in Sydney and Melbourne. When he was asked to produce some evidence of the delays, he could not produce any. The honourable member has referred to the Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures.

Apparently the President did not consult the Secretary. Anyhow, no proof of the complaints could be given to the officers of the Postal Department. All that I can suggest is that there is only one way in which we can be given some proof, and that is by the production of the mail envelopes. On many occasions on which apparently there has been a delay I have requested that the envelopes be kept and made available to us. If that is done, we then do our best to make a check. I suggest to the honourable member that in future, when he receives complaints of this nature, it might not be a bad idea for him to try to find some proof of the complaints that are made, rather than merely to accept them at their face value.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 11.7 p.m.

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