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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) - It may be as well to remind ourselves and that portion of the public who are constantly crying out about extravagance in the transferred Departments, that, while, as against an anticipated increase in the revenue this, year of £51,000, there is an anticipated increase in the expenditure of ,£90,000, the latter to the extent of £52,000 is on account of the over-sea mail contracts. It is remarkable that the people who are loudest in their denunciation of Federal extravagance, are those who, to a large extent, were loudest in their request for the increased expenditure on the mail contracts. These same people may also be informed that the adoption of penny postage throughout Australia would mean a further increase in the expenditure; and it is to be hoped. that the request for the adoption of this policy will not be listened to. It is estimated that for at least a year or two it would mean an additional annual expenditure of about £300,000; and I cannot see why the whole of the people should be called upon to contribute to a loss incurred for the benefit of a comparatively small section, consisting for the most part, of the mercantile classes. Only one State in the Commonwealth has adopted penny postage, and I trust that the other States will hold fast to their present system, because if penny postage were brought into force in those States, the people who are now asking for it would be crying out against the increased expenditure of the Department, and Federal extravagance generally.- *

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