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Postal and Telegraphic - Postal Services - Royal Commission - Report

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Presented by orde1·ed to be printed, 5t!t October, 1910.

[Cost oi Paper -Preparation, not given; 1,500 copies; approximate (st ol prihting nnd publishing, £160. l

' it)"

l'rinte•l :md Published for the GOVERNMENT of the CoMMONWEALTH of AuSlkALLI hy J. f\HII' , Government Printer for the State of Victoria. No. 50.-F.8564.




EDWARD VII., by the Grace of God of the .United Kingdom of Great Britain a11d Jr .. lurul <11od •·I tJ11 British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Empuor of J,.J,,.

TO our trusty and well-beloved* the Honorable JAMES HuME CooK, M.P., Sowlar tlu 1/urwrubl< J{\·,.11 DE LARGIE ; Senator the Honorable EDWARD MuLCAHY; the t'IIARI.t:• c·,,.n

.SALMON, M .P.; DAVID STORRER, Esquire, M.P.; WILLIAM Wt:osnm, };"'l'"rr , .If ./' . . the Hon01·able WILLIAM HENRY WILKS, M.P.

KNOW ye that We do, by these our Letters Patent, appoint you to be Commissioners to inquire into a,./ '"!"'" u1 .. , tAt Postal, Telegraphic, and T elephonic Services of the Commonwealth, and more particularly in rrlulitm lu 1)., fu/J .. u.·"'

(2) Finance.

(3) Organization, includ{ng discipline.

(4) Extensions in country districts, and particularly in remote or sparsely populated Jl

(5) Complaints in relation to the set"vices.

AND WE appoint you the said JAMEs HUME CooK to be the Chairman of the said Commiasiott :

AND WE direct that at any meeting of the said Commissioners four Commissioners ahall be s uflirr·,.,,, lo '"''·'"'"'' " quorum, and may proceed with the inquiry under these Our L etters Patent notwithstanding the ab6rlltr oftlu utlur Commissioners:

AND WE further direct that in the event of the absence of the Chairman from any meeting of the suid Cu,.,,., .. lfitma•

the Commissioners present may appoint one of their number to act as Chairman during such abse11te :

AND WE further direct .that in the event of the votes given on any question at any meeting of the "aid ( .'ummM•wrra•

being equal, the Chairman, if present, and if the Chairman is. not present then the Commissioner appointed to tl(l '"' Chair"'"'' in his absence shall have a second or casting vote :

AND WE further direct that the said Commissioners may, for the purpose of taking evidence in relation lu tlrr '"'1'"'!1• divide themselves into two or more parts, consisting of not leas than two Commissioners, and may appui111 one of their 11uml•n to act as Chairman of any part of which the Chair;,_an of the said Commission is not a member, and that rarh •urh I""' may meet and take evidence separately from any other part, and that each such part, when meetinq separald!f. 6hc1lll, ''"d

is hereby constituted a Commission for the purpose of the inquiry, and that at any meeting of any sud• pari I om shall be sufficient to constitute a quorum, and may proceed to take evidence notwithstanding the absence of any utlur """'''rr of such part, and that, in the event of the absence.of the Chairman of any such part from any meeting of that pari, the m

person appointed to act as Chairman of a part of the said Commissioners shall, as regards that part, have all the purtvu of the Chairman of the said Commission :

AND WE require you, with as little delay as posst'ble, to report to our Governor-General in and over our aaid Common.

wealth the result of your inquiries into the matters intrusted to you by these our Letters Patent :

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have t;aused these our Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of our •aid Commonwealth to be thereunto affixed.

WITNESS our trusty and well-beloved .H ENRY STAFFORD, BARON NoRTHCOTE, Knight Ornud Cross of our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Ora11d Commander of our Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Companio" of our .1/u.

One thousand nine hundred and eight, and in the eighth year of our reign.



By His Excellency's Oi>mmand, ALFRED DEAKIN.

ENTERED on record by me in Register of Patents, No. 3, page 147, this twenty-fourth day of June, One nine hundred and eight.


(* NoTE.-ln December, 1908, Messrs. Cook, Mulca.hy, and Salmon resigned from the Commission, and lllr. Wilks was appointed Chairman.)




Accountants Accountant, Chief Accounts Branch Accounts, registration of

Accounts, uniformity of Acting officers Allowances, district Allowances, forage

Allowances, risk .. Allowances, travelling Appeal Board Appeals Appointment Branch Assistants, Clerical Assistants, Postal ..

Associations Authorizing Officers Balance-sheet Boards oi Inquiry

Boy labour Branches, Heads of Buildings and accommodation Cable Service

Central Office Centralization Certifying Officers Chief Clerks

Civil rights Classification


.. 12, 72

.. 12, 59

72 75

.. 12, 72

140 162 164 164

161 155 155 75

120 120 141 74

.. 12, 72

153 112


.. 13, 166 49 9, 59 17

74 15 165 62

Clerical Division . . 68

Commonwealth, transfer of Department to 8 Compensation. See" Liability of Department." Complaints, public 180

Concentrator 105

Condenser system 105

Construction and maintenance 90

Correspondence Branch 119

Debts, payment of 166

Decentralization . . 17

Deputy Postmasters-General 14, 20, 61

District allowances. See " Allowances." Economies, finance 57

Economies, management . . 23

Electrical Engineers' Branch 88

Electrical Engineer, Chief . . . . 11, 60

Estimates, preparation of 39

Estimates, reduction of 32

Examinations 130

Exempt employes 128

Expansion 90

Extensions in country districts t73

Extraneous duties. 81'e '' Other Departments.·· Female officers 121. 187

Fidelity guarantee 165

Finance 2l

Financial aspect of services Financial position of Departm()nt Fines and punishments Fire risks Forage allowance5. .. Allowanc:r;."

Funds, amount require

Home Affairs Department

150 171


.. 17. 31

160 H7

9, 16

" Householder " cir 78

Hygienic conditiom I 72

Incompetent officers I :H

Inefficiency of service:; 16

Inquiry, Boards of. s,·t· "BJ:trJ> of Inquiry." Inquiry fee 79

Inspection Inspection of letter carrier.> Inspaetion ol telegraph ..

Inspection of telephones Inspectors Inspector, .Chief .. Ir;stmetions to officers

Instrument fitters Insurance fuml .. Labour-saving appliances .. Leave of absence

Letter boxes Letter carriers Liability of Department Linemen

Luncheon hour .. Mail bags and seals 1\iail Branch Mail contracts and contractors Mail deliveries

rv1ail drivers

l\'hil matter, handling of Mails, Superintendent of

Maintenance Management I'.'Ianagement, alternative schemes 1\'Ianagement, defects in

Management, defects in syste:n of Management, multiplicity of control

.. 13, 70

87 Ill


.. 13. 70

.. 22, 59


93 40 t::!l 157


80 91

150 79 75 77 76 87 75 75 90


18 9





Management, recommendation re 19

Manafacture of material 96, 118

Mecograph 111

Metalllc circuits .. 95

Minimum wage .. 29

Mlnlsterial control 15

Money Order Branch 73

Monitors 98

Newspapers 43

Non-paying services 2!1

Organization 58

Other Departments, work for 124

Overpaid officers . . 139

Oversea countries .. 10, 60

Overtime 145

Packet post .. 44, .79

Parcel post .. 44, 79

Parcels, Insurance of 45

Parcel post, value payable 45

Pole dressers 92

Porters' loads 88

Postage accounts, Government Departments . . 46 Postage rates 41

Postage stamps. S ee "Stamps." Postal Guide 61

Postal notes 73

Poste restante 78

Postmasters 113

Postmistresses 115

Post-offices, grading of 112

Post-omces, unomcial 115

Promotion 136

Public Service Commissioner Public Works Regulations Record Branch . . Registered letters . .

Reguiations Relieving staff Rent of quarters .. Salaries Sorters . . Sorting, methods of Staff Committee . . Staff shortage Staff statistics Stamp commission Stamping machines, automatic Stamp printing . . Stamp, uniform . . Standardization of materials State rights Statistical Branch


9, 16 9

119 77 61 157 114


80-83 . .. 13, 81


.. 11, 33

58 46 45 45 45 118


.• 75


Stores Branch Stores, checking of Stores, distribution of Stores, obsolete .. Stores, purchase of Suggestions Sunday work Superannuation Supervisors, telephone traffic Switchboards, automatic Tea money Technical Division Telegrams, checking of Telegrams, method of payment

Telegraph Branch Telegraphic service, condition of Telegraphists . Telegraph messengers

Telegraph rates .. Telegraph rates, code and cipher Telegraph rates, press Telegraphy, automatic Telegraphy, wireless Telephone Branch Telephone calls, recording .. Telephone cabinets Telephone conduits Telephone exchanges Telephone instruments Telephone management Telephone service, condition of Telephones, public Telephone rates .. Telephone · rates, recommendation re Telephone rates, reduction of Telephone trunk lines Telephonists Temporary employment Tenders Time in lieu Training Transfers, remote districts Travelling allowances. See "Allowances." Travelling post-omce Treasurer Typewriters, telegraphists' . .

Unclaimed Undergrounding . . Uniformity of Accounts. See " Accounts."


117 117 118 118

. . 14, 84

143 144 165 98

95 150 67 74

49 103 84 106 111

46 49 51 103 105

93 101 101 95

93, 102 .. 57, 96

93 36 101 51 '

. . 52, 55

.. 14, 51

.. 38, 57

99, 102 11, 126 34, 119 143 13, 122



9, 16, 33 111 77 95

Uniforms 118

Vacancies, fl.lling of 140

Wheatstone telegraphy 13, 103



To · His Excellency the RIGHT HoNORABLE WILLIAM 1-Iu.MnLF., Earl of Dudley, a Member of His Majesty's Most Honora/dr Privy Knight Grand Cross of the Most

Ordm· of Saint Michael and B_aint GeOJ'fle, Knigh.t Urand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Governm·- G emmtl a /1(/ Commander-in- Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY-!. We, your Commissioners, appointed by Letters Patent dated tlH' 22nd of June, l908, to inquire into and report upon the Postal, Tele_!?;rnphie, and Telephonic Services of the Commonwealth, and more particularly in relation to the following matters:-

(1) Management ; (2) Finance; ( 3) Organization, including discipline ; ( 4:) Extensions in country districts, and particularly in remote or

sparsely-populated parts of the Commonwealth ; ( 5) Complaints in relation to the services ;

have the honour to report that we entered upon otir inquiry in July. but were prevented from holding continuous investigations through tlw intervention of Parliamentary business.

2. The inquiry occupied 2::!8 sittings, and your Commissioners visited every State and took evidence at all the State capitals, and at Fremantle and Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and at Launceston, Tasmania. Personal visits of inspection were made to all the General Post Office buildings, and

many branch telephone exchanges, and suburban post-offices of Sydney and Melbourne. · ·

3. Your Commissioners examined l90 witnesses, and evidence received from-


(1) Representatives of Public bodies. (2) Representatives of Chambers ·of Commerce and Manufactures. ( 3) Representatives of Commercial Institutions. (4) The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner and Inspectors.

( 5) The Commonwealth Auditor-General. (6) The Secretary to the Treasury. (7) The Secretary to the Department of Home 'Affairs. (8) The Permanent Head, Assistant Secretary, Chief Electrical

Engineer, Chief Clerk and Accountant of the Central Office of the Post and '1 elegraph Department. (9) The Deputy Postmasters-General, and the Heads of Branches in each State, ·

( 10) Representatives of the Officers' Associations in each ( 11) Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone evidence is set out in Appendix of the J1iuutes of




Constitution Act.

Transfer of t)epartment£.


4. Dueing the course of this inquiry, improvements have been made and concessions gTanted, which, in the opinion of your were

tlte direct result of the evidence adduced by them, and they appreciate the promptness displayed by the Public Service Commissioner and the Depart­ ment in endenvouring, by the adoption of needed reforms, to remedy the defects disclosed. A list of the more important improvements made, and the concessions granted to the Service, is appended.


(I) Increase in the permanent staff by making provision m the 1909-10 Estimates for 1,500 additional officers. ( 2) Larger votes granted for telegraphic and telephonic construction worl{s. · ·

(B) Telephone rates remodelled. ( 4) Position of Chief Accountant created. ( 5) Chief Electrical Engineer's staff augmented. ( 6) Introduction of Wheatstone instruments on IntE:r-.State telegraph


( 7) Reduction of the numoer of grades of post-offices from thirteen to seven. (8) Overtime worked in the General Post Office, Sydney, partly paid for. (9) Accommodation obtained at the Ce!!tral Railway Station,

Sydney, for the Mail Branch. · (10) Sorting test simplified in Mn.y, 1909. ( 1 J ) A conference of departmental officers held to investigate the question of hroken shifts in the l\lail Branch.

( 12) Additional grade of Senior Assistant established. ( 13) Age for the admission of telegraph messengers to Service increased, and age of retirement extended. ( 14) Appointment of outside supervisors of telegraph messengers. (15) A uniform Postal Guide introduced. ( 16) Improvement made in the compensation allowed for Sunday


( 17) Letter carriers' beats in Sydney re-adjusted. ( 18) Privileges extended to temporary employes. (19) Procedure under punitive sections of Con1tnonwea1th Public Service Act simplified.



5. Prior to submitting to Your Excellency the conclnsions and recounnendations of your Commissioners in regard to the manage­ ment of the Commonwea.lth Post and Telegraph Department, it is advisable to briefly re1ate the history of the inauguration of that Department.

6. Under the Commonwealth of Constitution Act 1900,

63 & 64 Viet., Chapter 12, power was given to the Commonwealth

GoYernment to take over, control, and administer the Post and Telegraph Department of each State of the Commonwealth. This the

transfer to the Commonwealth of six sepnrate Departments. In accordance with the Constitution .Act, preparations were made by the Common weaLth Government to take over the six States' Post and Telegraph Departments. An Acting Secretary was appointed to act as adviser to the Ministerial Head1 and to attend to matters submitted for Ministerial approval by the

States' Deputy Postmasters-General. Under this system the Commonw<·:tltl 1 Postmaster-General and the Acting Secretary exercised a genernl <·ontrol over the States' Post and Tele:!,'raph Departments. Snhsecpa'nt to a conference of the heads of those Departments, a Bill was draftt·d, and

enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament, entitled tlw Post 111111 Telegraph Act 1901. This Act provided that the administration nnd control of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Department Post and

be vested in the Postmaster-General ; that there shoulu be a Seerdal'\' to Telelfapb Act. the Postmaster-General, who should have the chief control of tht- ment throughout the Commonwealth ; and that there should he in t•a<·h a Deputy Postmaster-General, who should be the principnl offit'<'I' tlf' till'

Department therein. Power was also given to the PostmaHtei'-Gt•n<'l':tl to Delciation "r delt'gate any of his powers under the Act (excepting this JHlW<'I' of powers. delegation) to enable the delegate to exercise power with resped to t lw matters specified or the State or district defined in the ol

delegation, such delegation · to be revocable at the pleasure of t lw P ostrnaster·General.

7: Concurrently with these preliminary preparations, n Centrnl central Executive was established, directed. by the Postmaster-General anti the Executive. Acting Secretary, who was subsequentJy appointed Permanent I lead of tlw Department.

8. In addition to the provisions set out in the Post and Telegrupll Acf, The Tr11uurer. the 'freasurer, by virtue of his control of the expenditure of Comuwnwt·alth funds, exercised a close supervision the Estimates of the l)ost and

Telegraph Department, and the supply of the necessary funds for cnrryiug· on the work of the Department depended upon the decision of the Tn•asmt·1·. Further, all matters relative to appointment, promotion, and tra.nsfl'r of officers of the Comrnonwealth Departments were vested in the iudependt•nt

authority of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner muler tlw provisions of the Commonwealth Public Service Act 190::?. The ecnstmctiou Public Service and maintenance of buildings were placed by the Public Works 1, egnlatious Act 1902. under the control of the Department of Home Affairs. The authorities PRubli1 c twl orka. - d h h . . 'd bl . egu a ouR. menwone , t oug exerCISIUg COnSI era e powers, are not Ill llll,Y Wtl,V responsible for the efficiency of the Commonwealth Post and TelegTaplt

Department's services, such responsibility resting entirely on that Responsibility. Department. DEFECTS IN MANAGEMENT.

9. Your Commissioners, their inqu. irv into the management of Defects ln '--' • '- management the Post and Telegraph Department, discovered defects which were due to a.nd system. htck of efficient management as distinct from the system of control, and also defects which were inherent in the system. In framing this Heport endeavours have been made to broadly separate the defects of systelll from those of It is evident that an inferior system, even under sound management, would make for an indifferent service. When, however, an inferior system is associated with a weak limited management, the results are disastrous. Central Executive. 10. Whilst the experience of the heads of the States' Post and Telegraph Thorough review Departments was necessary in the drafting of a scheme of Commonwealth .not made. control, it was unwise to depend upon that alone in view of its limitations. Your Commissioners consider that before the Post and Telegraph Bill was submitted to Parliament a Royal Commission should have been appointed to inquire into and report upon the management. and financial position of the services, including valuation of properties and bookkeeping systems, and also upon the advisability of obtaining the assistance of an independeut ?rganizer of exceptional ability, with experience in controlling Post and Telegraph affairs on a large scale, to advise the Government as the best method to adopt in amalgamating six different Departments lnto a homogeneous whole.


Policy building.


11. The framers ofthe policv of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Department were the Postmaster-General for the time being and the Permanent Head. Their attempt at policy-building was made without a sufficient personal investigation of the working of the States' branches of the Department, either before the moulding of the policy or after its introduction.

Interpretation of 12. The evidence doe.s not disclose that any effort bad been made to policy. ascertain whether the policy as formulated was properly interpreted

by the I leputy Postmasters-General. For a considerable period after Federation a good deal of fl'iction, culminating in 1907, existed between the heads of the States' branches and the Central Executive. It was natural tlwt the Chief Officer of each State, possessing State experience only,

would endeavour to imprint on the Department the local system which he

Friction with Deputy Postmasters­ GeneraL

Federal spirit.

Permanent Head remaining at head-quarters.

Appointment of Assistant Secretary.

Present system not indorsed.

Outside knowledge.

had assimilated, and which, probably for many years, he had controlled. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that, if the Central Executive had possessed itself of a better personal knowledge of the conditions affecting the DPrmty Postmasters-General of the various States, the dissatisfaction

which has existed between the Central Executive and the Deputies would have been reduced to a negligible quantity .

. 13. There also existed in the Ueputy Postmasters-General an incomplete conception of the .Federal spirit, in addition to a certain amount of official jealousy occasioned by the selection of a Deputy Post­ mae.ter-General from one of the smaller States to be the Permanent Head of the Department.

14. 'I hrough the Permanent Head of the Department remaining almost constantly at head-quarters effective management by the Central Executive is pr1-judiced. Harmonious relations hetween the Central Executive and the States' branches, together with the development of a proper scheme of managing the postal, telegraphic, and telephonic services in the interests of the public, are extremely difficult of attainment unless the Permanent Head of the Department makes periodical visits the

States' branches, in order to personally acquaint himself with the conditions existing.

15. Since the origin3l system of management was adopted an Assistant Secretary has been appointed. This arrangement of duties of the Central Executive may give rise to a conflict of control owing to the presence of two administrative officers possessing similar powers. Such a method of allotting the duties may work well under the present p,ersonnet, but it result in inharmonious relations when the personnel is changed, or

m the event of some Ministerial Head preferring to consult the junior authority rather than the senior. To obviate such a possibility a minor official should have been appointed to perform the actual secretarial duties as between the Minister and the Department, thus releasing the Permanent Head from routine work, and enabling him to make visits to

the States' branches of the Department in the character of a General This opinion is advanced only to show that the present system

hfen improved, and is not to be accepted as an indorsement of

Its contmuance.

16. During his the Permanent Head showed that he had

no personal of post and telegraph systems of other countries, other than that acqmred by reading the British Post Office Heports. He also referred to a modern economic writer on the British telegraphs and tele­ p.hones. The conclusions of this writer have, inthe opinion of your Commis­

swn:rs, n.o relevance to the Commonwealth 1 'ost and Department, as lns object was to establish a case ngainst Government ownership.

11 ' , ' '

17. Several witnesses in subordinate positions in the Department, of Subordinatea their own volition and at their own expense, had collated valuable infonuation • 1upply tl . d p d 'f 1 ih D t . t . th . '1'1 . nforma on. m regar to ost an e egrap epar men s m o . er countnes tts was especially exemplified in an official in the General Division of the in the State of New Wales. The absence of an extensive knowlt-tlgt' of of

the working of Post and 'l' E:)legraph Departments in other countries was common to all the high officials, with the exception of the Chief Electrical 0



Engineer. It may be said that the neglect to possess themselves of

this informatjon was to some extent occasioned by their too close :ulltt•l'(\11('(' to duties of a merely clerical nature. The practice of confining tlw l't·r-manent Head to miuor secretarial duties deprived him of an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with outside conditions, and acquiriug knowlt·d.!.!.·t'

which would have tended to the solution of many of the difficult prohlt·Hts of administration now troubling the Department. It would have ht•en pn11lt·11t if some of the higher officials had been afforded an opportunity of Visltlna

Great Britain and foreign countries for the purpose of making tlwmscl\'t's conntrlea. acquainted with modern post and telegraph management, equipment, and improved methods of organization. The only _insta.nce evident in whil'lt au opportunity was provided of acquiring a personal ktwwledge of thcst- tuath·t·,.

was when the present Chief Electrical Engineer wa s deputed to visit for('igu countries in 1905. There was, however, evidence of endeavours having ht·t·n made by officers to k eep abreast of . the 'times by studying teelmical and other publications dealing with postal, telegraphic, and telephonic matters.

The rapid strides made in telegraphy and telephony, and possibly in post-office administration, warrants more frequent visits than hit)H•rto hct•JI made to other countries.

18. The responsibility for local manag ement should have dcvolvt·d Local upon the chief officers of the respective States, instead of the Ccntml management. Executive overloading itself with unnecessary details of solely Statt• concern. The Central Executive should have confined itself to mattt·rs of general ·policy, and to establishing uniformity of administmtion in the Department throughout the Con1monwealth. Since the n•pot·t

of the Sub·Committee of the Cabinet in l the Centra] Exeenti\'t'

has relieved itself (Jf dealing with a large number of minor staff Etrect ofOabinet

This has reduced the clerical work of the Central Exeeu- Sub-Committee's

C ll


tive considerably, but the entral Executive sti performs unnecessary clerical work.

19. Until recently the Central Executive wa,s not sufficiently staffed Want of std. to cope with the large and continually increasing- amount of work with which it had to deal, more especially in the .Electrical and Accounts Branches. This is substantiated by the of the management.

20. The continuous failure of the Central .Executive to obtain a sufficiEmt permanent staff of officers in the respective States resulted in the employment of a large number of temporary hands. The explanation tendered was that the Treasurer had refused the necessary funds. This

excuse is considered by your Commissioners to be evidence of weakness on the part of the Postmasters-General and their advisers in not

,insisting on being supplied with the necessary funds.

21. The Chief Electrical Engineer, instead of being employed mainly as a consulting and supervising engineer, has been engaged in doing too detail work, and performing administrative duties apart from his functions. The liberation of the Chief Electrical Engineer from minor

would ha,ve allowed that officer greater opportunities of gauging the ments of the Department, and would have furnished him with ar. opportumty to make a closer study of electrical engineering developments, r-articularly telephone engineering, thus equipping him with ample knowledge to effect

economies. To achieve this purpose the Chief Electrical Engineer's Branch

Employment of temporary hands.

Misuse of Chief Electrical Engineer.



Appointment of Assistant Engineers.

should have been adequately staffed by the appointment of assistant engineers. Since the commencement of this inquiry some action has been taken to remedy the serious defect of want of sufficient but your Commissioners are convinced that the necessity for providing an efficient and complete pro­ fessional staff was not fully recognised by the Central Executive. For instance. the most important office of Chief Electrical Engineer was not filled until 1906, five years after the passing of the Post and Telegraph Act. This delay resulted in an absence of uniformity in constructional methods during that period.

Proper professional staff required.

Neglect to supply balance-sheet. 2 2. A striking illustration of the inefficiency in the working of the Central Executive was its neglect to provide itself with a proper balance-sheet

of the Department's finances. This should have · been a primary concern of the administration. The Central Executive did not endeavour to :Obtain such a balance-sheet until a comparatively recent order was made by P:triiament. The balance-sheet then furnished deals only partly with the · finances of the Department, and is confined to one year's opemtions.

Through the absence of a proper balance-sheet, the officials were unable to determine the finantia] position of any branch of the Service, or even of the whole Department. The Central Executive explained that its inability to produce a proper balance-sheet was due to the Department's transferred properties not having been assessed. The Accountant in New South

vVales stated that a,n approximate balance-sheet could have been compiled in the early days of Federation equally as well as at the present time. The question of a balance-sheet will be dealt with in this Report under the heading of ''Finance."

Neglect to appoint Chief Accountant.

Broader knowledge required.

State Accountants' standard of efficiency.

Absence of high accountancy standard in Central


Uniform system of

23. The neglect of the Central Executive to secure the services of a highly qualified and proficient accountant as Chief Accountant was a very serious omission. Your Commissioners are strongly of the opinion that the Department required the services of a most expert financial officer from its inception, as sound finance should have been the governing principle in the administration of the Department. Such an expert officer should have been appointed to act as adviser to the Central Executive on financial matters, and to introduce an efficient and economical method of keeping the departmental accounts. If the appointment of such an officer had been made at the commencement of Commonwealth control much of the financial trouble that now exists would have been avoided. This financial adviser would obtained, for the direction of the Central Executive, a clear statement of the financial position of all the services. With proper management a higher standard of efficiency would have been insisted upon in the officials occupying the positions of Accountants in the several States

branches of the Department. The majority of the Accountants examined displayed little acquaintance with the finances of their own State branches, apart from that broader knowledg·e of the general finances of the Depart­ ment which is necessary to enable them to act as capable financial advisers. Most of the Accountants in the States' branches, while being fairly good routine officers, may be chssed more as senior clerks than Accountants.

24. The absence of a high standard of qualification in the Accounts Branch of the Central Executive is answerable for the serious omission to insti!ute a uniform system of keeping accounts in the Department. By such a umform system a considerable saving of both money and labour could have

been effect ed. Under instructions from the Central Executive the Accoun­ tant to the New South ·wales branch of the Department investigated the accounts systems of the various States in 19(!4, and made recommendations for a uniform system. These recommendations were not put into operation, and in : 908 a Committee, consisting of the Chief Clerk, Commonwealth Audit

Office, and the Accountants to the Treasury and the Central Executive respec­ tively, was appointed to draw up a uniform system of accounts for the Post and Telegraph Departnwr.t, including a balance-sheet and a profit and loifi


account. This Committee made Rome investigations, but lmd not Htath· any recommendations up to the time this Report was written. Although the urgent necessity for a system of accounts is admitted l1y the

Department, its efforts in that direction have not been productive of mudt result. Your Commissioners consider that the Central Executive has het·ll extremely dilatory iu this matter.

25. A serious defect in the is that the inspectorial stntfs

of the States are not large enough, and that the sal:tries provided for inspectors are not sufficiently liberal to attract the best class of oltiet•r. The districts allotted to the inspectors should have been made smaller to insure more effective inspection. The Inspection Branch is oue of tlu.•

most important branches of the Department, being an advising section of tlw administration. This necessitates its staffing by most competent otii<"ers. The inspectors should be the chief assistants to the Deputy Postmasters­ General, and the instructional officers to postmasters on matters of unifol'lll

practice and methodical working. This subject will be more fully to under " Organization."

26. Your Commissioners do not approve of. conferences of I Postmasters-General, as suggested by leading officials. Such have, in their opinion, resulted in very little, if any, improvement, ns tlwy have not made for sound or effective administration during the yeat·s wht·n reform was much needed. The practice referred to makes plurality of

control paramount, and is subversive of distinct control by the l'el'lllancut Head. Such conferences were held for the alleged purpose of securiug­ uniformity of administration ; but a capable Permanent Head would first have drafted his scheme of uniform management, and, by personnl visits

and consultations with the Deputy Postmasters-General, would hnve determined its application either in its entirety or with moditicatious adapted to local conditions.

2 7. The omission by the Central Executive to adopt a more economical and expeditious system of sorting mail matter, and to establish sorting rooms close to the central railway stations in each of the capital cities of tlu .. States is of want of effective management. In defence of this

omission the Ct>ntral Executive pleaded want of funds. This still further accentuates its administrative weakness in not insisting on the necessary financial provision.

28. In the telegraph section it was discove1·ed that the Central Executive had not brought into general use the Wheatstone automatic telegraph instrument on the main lines. The reasons assigned by the Department for the non-application of this improved method of tele­

graphic transmission were the absence of expert Wheatstone operators, and the aHeged disinclination of telegraphists to acquire the necessary skill. Your Commissioners consider that the Department should have overcome these alleged difficulties in the early stages of Commonwealth control, as

they were not of an insurmountable nature. The Department is now adopting Wheatstone working, and during the past twelve months has been employing an expert Wheatstone operator from the Perth office, Western Australia, as instructional officer to the telegraphists in the capital cities.

2 9. During the course of this inquiry it -was made evident that the Department had failed to provide proper facilities for the training of its officers. This failure calls for the severest condemnation, because it has made it impossible for the Department to secure a trained staff .the

Telegraph and Telephone Branches, and it has had a most detrimental effect on the service.

30. The premises and in. the capital cities in the

found to be most inadequate

buildings occupied by the Department Commonwealth (Hobart excepted) were for the proper, efficient, and convenient

Central Executive dilatory.

'\ .

Inspection stalf11 not large enough.

Competent officers re(lulred.

Conferences of De11uty Postmaatera· General

What Permanent Head should h&n done.

Bad methods of sorting mail matter.

Administrative weakness.

Failure to adopt Wheatstone working.

Recent efforts to adopt Wheatstone working.

Inability to secure trained staif.

Buildings unsuitable·


Public interests affected.

No provision to purchase stores m quanrtties.

Stores Purchase Account. not insisted on.

Central Ex:ec•1tive respon · ible for congestion.

Reductions opposed bv Permanent Head and Chief Electrical Engineer.

Designation Deputy Postmaster­ General not suitable.


transaction of business. The structural nature of these buildings

Hlso prohibited the effective SUJ)etvision of the officers employed Your ( 'ommissioners do not desire to convey the impression

that the Central Executive is responsible for such unfavorable conditions, as they existed when tl1ese premises were transferred to the Common­ "·2alth. The Central Executive should, however, have been more persistent in its efforts to remedy the unsatisfactory conditions, which have adversely affected public facilities an/d the proper control of the officers.

31. A serious om1sswn bv the Central Executive was that no

provision vvas made for the of stores of a standard character in

sufficiently hrge quantities for the use of the whole Department. The negleet to do this has occasioned heavier expenditure than was necessary, particularly in buying large quantities of material in general use-such as eopper wire and other articles of a standard character. Consequently the Department did not avail itself of favorable markets. The Central · Exeentive, if it had adopted ordinary business-like methods in the earlier

stages of its control, would have insisted upon tlie establishment of a Stores Purchase Account. ·

32. Your Commissioners consider that the Central Executive in neglecting to exercise ordinary foresight by making the necessary provision to uwet the demands of the public when the telephone rates were reduced in 1907, aml in failing- to profit by the experience of other countries in similar circum­ stances, is responsible for the congested state of the telephone service, and the consequent overworking of the officers of the DepartiJient The evidence discloses that the reductions in the telephone rates were made on the advice of a subordinate officer, and in opposition to the advice of the Permanent Head and Chief Electrical Engineer, and your Commissioners consider that the then Postmaster-General took action without having any sound reason tor the drastic reduction made.

Deputy Postmasters- General . .

33. The officials entitled Deputy Postmasters- General are the principal officers of the Department in their respective States, and are answerable for the intel'pretation of the policy as formulated by the Central Executive. They are., in fact, deputies to the Permanent Head, and the designation Deputy Postm[tster-General is a misnomer. The Permanent Head is the actual Deputy Postmaster-General, and your Commissioners suggest that a more descriptive title for the principal officer of a State would

be "State Postmaster."

Lack of ability of 34. There was little evidence of the existence of administrative ability Deputy in many of the present occupants of the office of Deputy Postmaster-General; otherwise they would have delegated their minor duties to a greater extent

to subordinate officers. The evidence also disclosed that most of these officers had not made any sustained or systematic attempt to compel their subordinate officers to assume the responsibilities attached to their offices. The avoid- .

Responsibilities not assumed by subordinate officers.

Serious defect in management.

Delegated powers overriden.

ance of responsibility by heads of branches was said to be most pronounced. The Deputy Postmasters-General are occupied too much with the minutire of administration at the expense of general control, which is clearly incompatible with effective management.

. . 35. There was no evidence that the Deputy Postmasters-General VISited suburban and country post-offices, except to some extent in the less populous States. . Your Commissioners consider this to be a serious omi&Sion, tending to prevent the establishment of sound and progressive management.

36. There was also evidence of want of definite support of the Deputy Postmasters-General by the Central Executive. When the Deputy Postmasters-General exercised delegated powers they were, iu certain

instances, overridden by the Ministerial Head. This undermined the status of the Deputy Postmasters-General with the public and with their staffs. This practice is partly answerable for the flooding of the Centml Executive with petty and ·unnecessary details, the settlement of whi1·h

il!volves needless expense in time and labour. It is also inimical to the Deputy Postmasters'-General assumption and exercise of the higher functions of control and administration.


3 7. It was alleged that the general tone of the instructions ilSSHPd by the Central Executive had degraded the Deputy Postmasters-Getwral, and that some had contemplated . retirement on that accon11t. This is not so evident at present as it was formerly. There is now evidenn· of n

desire by the Centrnl Executive to moderate the tone of its instnwtin11s, which has tended to establish more harmonious relations between the Central Executive and the Deputy Postmasters-General.

Tone of Instructions Issued by Central Executive.

38. The practice of relieving Deputy hy ('bief Ohief Oleru u

Clerk,s led to the assumption by the latter that they are eut.itlt•d

to promotion to the office of Deputy, Postmaster-General. Many of tht• GeneuJ. officers now occupying positions as Chief Clerks in the States poss1·ss merely clerical knowledge, and that principally confined to the He:tu Offie<·. They have only a rudimentary acquaintance with the vital matters of

postal administration. This inefficiency is of the most serious Hlomeut. Your Commissioners consider that the most efficient officers would lw obtained if the Deputy Postmasters-General were recruited from tl1e ranks of the inspectors, as the inspectors are conversant with the details of g<·m·ra I management of offices within the States. This opinion is conditional to inspectors being of the standard already referred to in this Report.

39. Your Commissioners consider that the very important. fuuetious which the Deputy Postmasters-General should exercise (functions whi<'h will be more fully detailed in this Report) should command higher than those now paid, which are not sufficient inducement to secure the elass

of officer with the capacity necessary to ·assume with satisfaction to tlu• public and· the Department the responsibilities of local management and control.


Ministerial Control.

Deputy PostDlAaten­ Gen•ral should be recruited from Inspectors.

Salaries of Deputy Postmasten· General.

40. In the administration of the Commonwealth Post and '! elegraph Continuity of Department it is desirable, in the interests of the public, that continuity policy. of policy .should be maintained. The Central Executive attempted to formulate a definite policy; but it was alleged that a continuous policy

could not be exercised by the Department because of its incompatibility with frequent changes of the Ministerial Head. There have been nine Post­ masters-General since the inauguration of the Commonwealth, and the evidence discloses that most of the Ministerial Heads endeavoured to

effect signal alterations of policy. Ministers are apparently anxious to signalize their occupancy of oftice by some new and distinct act of adminis-tration; but due regard does not appear to have been paid to the effect of such actions. The baneful influence of ill-considered interference in Baneful inftuence

by the Ministerial Head is strikingly illustrate? . by the

alteratiOn of the telephone rates in February, 1907, by the Mm1ster of the time, in opposition to the ad vice of his administrative and technical officers. The disregard of the effects of such drastic innovations is detri-mental to the carrying out of a continuous and definite policy, even it

formulated by the Central Executive. There also seems to have been a strong inclination on the part of Postmasters-General to give too much considera-tion to, and interfere with, details, instead of confining themselves to the Interfering with broader principles of administl·ation. Your Commissioners consider that it details.

Post and Telegraph Department not to be used for

political purposes.

Expenditure vested in independent authority.

Control of staff by Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.

Divided control.

Multiplicity of control hampers administration.

Condition of services when transferred.


is impossible for a Minister to obtain a reasonable grasp of the affairs of a Department of such magnitude as the Post and Telegraph Department, even with a longer tenure of office than has hitherto been the case.

Delavs in the execution of administrative duties are also occasioned l;y enforced absence of the Minister from his De!1artment on political business. The Post and Telegraph Department is an institution daily affecting almost every individual in the community to a greater extent than any other Government Department in the Commonwealth, as it provides publie utilities of paramount importance. It supplies services to the public, the control of which should be independent of political exigencies.

Multiplicity of Control.

41. Your Commissioners strongly disapprove of a system which permitt> expenditure on account of · buildings, repairs, and maintenance being vested in the independent authority of the Department of Home Aftitirs, while permitting the much greater expenditure on account of telegraphs and telephones to be controlled by the Post and Telegraph Department. The practice of obtaining the sanction of another Common­

wealth Department in regard to minor expenditure is absurd. This system involves unnecessary labour and circumlocution.

42. Your Commissioners disapprove of the system under which staff matters affecting the Department are placed under the independent authority of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, for the following reasons:-

( 1) Such a system makes for divided control, which is undesirable and unnecessary.

(2) It gives the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner power to refuse staff which the Post and Telegraph Department considers to be necessary, whilst no responsibility for the efficiency of the services is incurred with such power.

( 3) The responsible heads of the Post and Telegraph Dep:utment, acting as a Staff Committee, would be, in the opinion of your Commissioners, in a better position to judge the qualifications of their officers than any outside authority.

43. Such divided control, combined with the fact thatthe Department is entirely dependent on the Treasurer for funds for carrying on its services, renders efficient management extremely difficult, if not altogether irnpm;&ble, since independent authorities are vested with power without responsihility,

while the Post and Telegraph Department is divested of power and,. at the same time, charged with responsibility. Power and responsibility should be combined in the one authority. It was ft·equently admitted that the Central Executive had been seriously hampered b; this multiplicity of eontro1.

Ine.fficienc,y of the Services.

44. The evidence clearly discloses that the Depariment did not keep equipment up to requirements, this being common to all the with. Che exception of South Australia, where the telegraph and telephone line& were said to be in good order. With the aoove-mentioued. the condition of the services when handed over to the Common­

wealth wa. s far from satisfactory. This· defect should have been l'ectified in the early days of Commonwealth controL Since the: time referred to, the Central Executive has been continuously forced to .neglect. new and prevented from placing maintenance on an effective· basis,. mainly in

connexion with telegraph and telephone lines a.nd switchooa.rds. Thi&JO pha:se of the investigation will he more fully dealt with u.nder- the ooa,ding of " Finance."

· 4fS. The starved condition of the services is largely answerable f(u· the. imperfect of the and

Evidence was rece1ved that · the pos1t1on was gettmg worse, owmg to the increased volume of business making the adverse conditions uwre accentuated, but recent action is req1edying that condition tt) some extent.

Poaitloo rettlu1 WOPH.

46. The reason assigned by all the officials for the failure to plaee tlu• Alleged want ot services in proper working was want of sufficient funds. There f®dt.

evidence that tile in lHO l endeavoured, through the Treasurer

of the tinte, to obtain the I'ecessary fund$ to place the services in an efficient condition by resorting to a loan, but Parliament refused to sanction tltis proposal. The CUl'tailnJtmt of fu.nds at that period was apparently the result Ifl'ect or of the to keep the cost of Federation within a limit of £300,000 por of

annum. The adoption of that couf$e, in spite of tl1e demands of the Post and Telegl'ttph Daparttnen.t, in the: opinion of your Commissionl•rs, evidene.(l thllt the system of mamtgement is faulty, in tha,t it permittod thl' Treasurer to assume oontrol of se:rvices for whose efficiency he

not responsible. This of the position is emphasized by the tad th6Lt the Treasurer was a.t that tinHJ Qf th., neeessities of tho Po.-t nnJ

Telegraph Depa1•ttnent, notwithstttndil'lg which he returned to the Statu• Govermnents the whole <>f the surplua reven\\f,l beyond their constitu tiona! p1·opo:rtion. In this connex.ion it would appear that the Postruastol'· General was too in respect to a.ctions of the Treasul't!l'.

The Central Executive, though to the Postmaster-General

the omission to supply sufficient ahould have more Postmaster· Gener&l too urged upon him the ·results that would occur from a contirmation of the complaiaant. starvation poli"ey. This. matter will be further dea,lt with in the finnucil'l section of R0port. Disabilities qf

4'. A distinct weakness in the systern of control, made evident early in the inquiryt W&.S that a somewhat rigid policy of centralization existed. This was more. noticeable in the early stages of Commonwealth control. Although considerable powers had been delegated to the Deputy Post­

masters--General1 apparently for the purpose of avoiding over-centralization, · the Central Executive to a great extent abrogated- those powers by reviewing matters decided by the Deputies under their delegated authority. Jt mu-st be recognised, however, that · a full measure of decentralization is

unattainable under direct Ministerial control when the Minister

permits po?itical pressure to influence him in reviewing actions taken by the Deputy Postmasters-General under their delegated powers. It was alleged that when powers to deal with certain local matters had been delegated to thf' t}ltief t}fficers in each State, and were exercised by those officers, friction

ensued with the Central Executive. The evidence disclosed the fact that, in eases where the chief officers were in close proximity to the Central Executive, strictures were not passed by them on that authority. The inference is that there is a tendencv in such eases to submit more or lesi:l

intricate matters to the Central "ExeClitive for decision, although they could have been decided by the Deputy Postmaster-General.

48. Your the practice whereby Deputy

are by the and the

Perm"ne.llt Head t.o l'eportl instead of being to take on

matters which come within the of their delegated This practice

makes for delay, involves expensive and circumlocutory methods, and has a effect ou. the Deputy Postmasters-General in that it tends to

tlnde.rmine This practice has arisen to some extent through

political being unaware ofth.e deleg;tted of the Deputy

Postmasters·G eneral, and consequently d1rcctly approaclnng the Central F.Sii64.

Delegat41d powers abrogated.

Fnot!onyith CQtrrJ Executive.

Reports instea.d of action.



Members of Parliament not aware of delegated powers.

Executive. Probably had the Central Executive supplied Members of Parliament with a schedule of the delegated powers, and intimated that first reference should be ma,de to the Chief Officer in the State, it might have greatly minimized the dissatisfaction of the Deputy Postmasters­

General. the Central Executive, and might have lessened the depart­ mental frwtwn complained of by those officers.

General Conclusions.

Change of control necessary. 49 In view of the grave defects outlined, it is apparent that a

continuance of such a state of affairs as exists in the Department

ahsolutely prohibits it trom being controlled on a sound economic or progressive basis. This, together with the Department's neglect to institute reforms in the intP-rests of the public, compels your Commissioners to recommend an immediate change in the system of contrql. The

Post and Telegraph Department should be more self-contained and the management should be independent of direct Ministerial interference in matters of administration. The Minister should be responsible for policy only, and the Central Executive made directly responsible to Parliament. The Estimates of Expenditure should not be subject

to reduction at the will of the Treasurer, but by Parliament alone,

the Government of the day taking the responsibility of submitting to Parliament the Estimates as fraiD;ed by the Central Executive of the Department. It follows from this that the Central Executive must be strong, and vested with extensive powers, a subject which will be dealt with in this Report under" Proposed Scheme of Control." In addition the Department should have complete control of its staff apart from the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, and the responsibility for carrying out works and buildings should be removed from the Depart­ ment of Home Affairs and vested in the Post and ,Telegraph Department. .

Department should be self­ contained.

Central Executive must be strong.

Continuance of existing system, with additions,


50. During- the course of their investigation several schemes of management uwere suggested, including a continuance of the existing system the present powers of Deputy Postmasters-General increased and made statutory, and with largely increased appropriations. Many officials exhibited a decided to condemn the system unde·r

· which they were working, but they failed toadvance any convincing reasons for its continuance. Beyond the request for additional funds, there was a lack of initiative in most witnesses for overcoming the obvious defects in the existing system. In the opiuion of your Commissioners, this attitude discloses a disposition of indifference to evolving schemes making for the future welfare of the Department.

Proposal that ·

General Manager 51. Two propositions to replace the present system of management were offered, viz. (I) a General Manager with a Ministerial Head, and (2) an

system. independent Board of Commissioners. Your Commissioners do not

Objection of officials to independent Board.

approve of. the first proposition, as it practically means a repetition of the present:system, supplanting the position of Secretary by that of General Manager and perpetuating the office of Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner. It would permit Ministerial eontrol to overrule the General Manager, as far as general administration is concerned. Further, . this proposal must be condemned because the Commonwealth Post and · Telegraph Department is of such magnitude that it cannot be effectively

controlled and supervised by one individual The designation. "General .J1anager" instead of "Secretary" is merely a matter of terminology, unless theGeneral Manager be equipped with full executive authority.

· 52. The fear was generally evinced by officials that if the Department' were administered by an independent Board of Management the staff would suffer in wages and status. This may be interpreted as meaning


that these officials were apparently more concerned ahout their own pers< nal welfare than the welfare and conv cnience of the public. This attitude ma ,. hP accountable for the paucity of reforms suggested by these witnesses. ·

53. The earlier portion of this Report has amply demonstrated that the present system is most inefficient, and your Commissioners are compclh•d to recommend a new system of management.

Present syatem inetllcient.

54. Your Commissioners believe that in the conduct of the serviees of Public intoreat the Dep:ntment the public interests should be paramount. The g-enpral paramount. object directing the operations of the llepartment should be to provid<• th<· best and most effective service in all its branches, subject to the eomlitiun

that a high class service should be met with an equitable charge for the services rendered.


55. Your Commissioners consider that in order to insure sound and Three dlrectora economical administration a basic change is essential, and recommend that required . . a Board of Management, consisting of three directors, namely, a Genernl Manager (Chairman), a Postal Director, and a Telegraph and Telephone

Director, be appointed to control the Department. From a careful consiclern­ tion of the requirements of the Department, it is deemed advisable to allot the functions and duties of the respective directors as follows :-( 1) The General Manager should be the Chairman of the Roard of

Management, and should be immediately responsible for finance and general administration.

(2) The Postal Director should he responsible for the management and general supervision of the mail services.

(3) The Telegraph and Telephone Director should be responsible fot· construction and maintenancf>..

56. Your CommiRsioners are strongly of the opinion, from the evidence Cost of Board given and from personal inspection of the various branches of the Depart- of lTanagement. ment, that the Board of Management recommended would effect great savings within a short period, in addition to the large savin!!S which should result from the removal of staff matters from the control of the Commonwealth

Public Service Commissioner. Evidence was given to the effect that the position of Chairman of the Board of Management would be worth a salary least £2,000 per annum. Your Commissioners are not prepared to recommend the amount of salary necessary, but consider that, in order to

secure suitable members for the Board of Management, it is imperative that attractive salaries be provided, as the service requires ·the highest of

d d f d · · · b'l' · bl Tl 1 adm1mstrative stan ar o a rmmstratiVe a 1 1ty procura . e. 1e constant concern am ability needed. main interest of the Board of Management would be to anticipate publie requirements by continuous assimilation of all the improved methods adopted in the post · and telegraph world, and it would, in order to

populai'ize its own system, be constantly considering the public welfare. Such a Board of Management would doubtless endeavour to establish the Post and Telegraphic Service on a self-supporting basis, without undue sacrifice of facilities to the public. Once effective management is

established, reforms in the Post and Telegraph Department will inevitably follow.

57. lJ nder a Boaxd of Management as recommended, the position of the Ministerial Head would be that of the connectin2: link between the Parli:unent and the Dep:wttnent. The Minister would retain eomplete B 2

PoAition of Ministerial HeRd under Board of



Report and balance-sheet to be supplied.


control of matters of poliey as laid down by Parliament. Such Board of :Management should equip Parliament through the Postmaster-General witl1 reliable advice on the financial condition of the services, which would serve as a guide to Parliament and the Postmaster-General, and enable then1 to avoid alterations of a drastic character without the fullest consideration of aJl their bearings ou vital issues. The Board of Manage­ ment should furnish to Parliament an annual report covering the past year's transactions, ineluding a balance-sheet disclosing the financial position of the several branches of· the Department. Your Commissioners contend that without such guidance Parliament is unable to appreciate the necessities of this enormous and ever-expanding Department.

Removal of staff matters from Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.

58. The establishment of a Board of Management as recommended would necessitate special legislation for the employes of the Depart­ ment.

Removal of works from Home Affairs Department.

Inspection by Board of Management.

Dissatisfaction through want of power.

Deputy Postmasters­ General to possess knowledge of telegraphy and telephony.

:Elxtensions of delel!'ate.d powers

59. A Board of Management would he. better able to gauge the req of the in connex_ion with build.ings, repairs, &c.,

than au outside authonty. Th1s would obviate the necessity for the control of works by the Department of Home Affairs, and would make for economy and despatch.

60. A most dnty of the members of the Board of Manage·

ment if appointed wovld be to t.nake official visits to the to ascertain if the Deputy Postmasters-General had correctly interpreted their policy, and for the further purpose of obtaining ;1 personal knowledge of local conditions to, assist them in their managerial functions.



61. When a definite system of control and management is formulated by the Board of Management, the Deputy Postmasters-General should be vested with full responsibility to manage their branches in accordance with that system. The fact of the Deputy Postmasters-Genern] not having· been furuished with such power is answerable to a considerable degree for the delays occasioned by over centralization, for public dissatisfaction, and for the discontent of the responsible State officers. Vesting the responsibility of local managewep.t in the Deputy Postmasters-General presupposes that the officials holding those positions will possess the requisite administrative ability to enable then1 ·to free themselves from detail work, and to undertake general supervision of the services under their control. ·

· f) 2. Your CommiRsioners are of the opinion that it is to the interest of the service. for the Deputy Postmaste1·s-General to possess a knowledge of tel egraphy and telephony. 1'his would be assurl'd if these officials were appointed from the ranks. of inspectors of the standard prescribed in this Report.

6 3. Y nur cannot r.ecommend the requests by

.ee.rtain Deputy Postma.sters·General that their present administrative p()Wers be rnade statutory, because this would result in conflict with the Board of Management, but they recommend an extension of delegated powers, such as greater powe1· of expenditm·e, acceptance of tenders other than 'the lowest, tenders allowing preference, and all matters of local concern

not invading policy.



64. Your Commissioners submit the principal objections advancPd during the course of the inquiry against independent manngement. objections are categorically ·arranged, and in each case reasons why they cannot be accepted are set out ..

(1) No Post and Telegraph DepaTtment in the world is unrlr1' tlu' control of growing tendency in pro­

gressive countries is to place the administration of governmental services as are rendered to the public in return for specific payments in charge of no11-political Boards. Tl1t> ·introduction of such systems of 01anagement is the outeonw

of the desire for the application of more busineHs-like nnd economical administtation in the public interest. This ohjt't·t would be attained by the appointment of the proposed B<.mnl of Management.




The Post and Telet(raph Depattment is not a tmdinf( y our Commissioners agree with this contention when thP words "trading concern " are read to mean a mereantilt• establishment conducted for ptofit ; but they consider that

a quick and safe conduct of mail matter, and c•Hiciently managed telegraphic and telephonic services are In the management of such services business-like metl10ds must be adopted to accomplish- these results. Tlw l'oHt

and Telegraph Department is not a purely eommereial pro­ nor is it a taxing Department, but every effort

should be made to conduct' the services otl businc>sH lint's. The proposed Evartl of Management would, undoubtedly, tnake the necessary provision to achieve this result.

The Post cmd Telegraph Dt>partrnent is a monopolq.-Yom· Commissioners admit the monopolistic nature of the Common-wealth Post and Telegraph Department, but realize the grave danger of its monopolit>tic characteristics making for Depart­

mental unconcern in formulating and continuing a progreHsivC' policy of management, This is one of the main reasons why . the establishment of a Board of Management, whose imperative duty it would be to study public requirements, has heen


Management by an independent Board would tend to greater centralization.-The unsatisfactory experience of centraliza­ tion under the present system . of control, as disclosed during the course of this inquiry, ab11olutely precludes

the possibility of the adoption of such a policy by a

Board of Management of the nature of that prescribed in this Report.

Answers to objections to Board of Management

t • '

Business-like methods must be adopted.

Possible monopolistic dangers.

Present centralization unsatisfactory.

(5) If Commissioners were appointed, the on(y difference would be three administrators instead of one.-The Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Department is too large for one man to effectively manage, and also personally inspect the State Depa.rtment

brarlches. The proposed Board of Management would make too large for one .c ft' t" · d · · · h b l d · . h man to manage.

10r e ec IVe a tmmstrat10n, as as een a rea y set out m t e

earlier portion of this The present system of

· management makes this essential unattainable.

(6) The Commonwealth Post and Department is onh; in

its irifimcy, and the presrmt SIJStem has not had a fair trial.­ Your Commissioners make ample allowance for this but fail to detect from the evidence a tendencv to a robust y development.


Country protected.

Department fosters settlement.

Chief Inspector required.

Sta.:ff Committees.

Staff safeguarded.


( 7) Counl?:_tj f aciLities wo,tfd ue CUd"tailed by a Borzrd rif Afanage­ lll t: llt.--;\ltbough this objection was advanced by many of the departmental offi cers against a change of system, the possibility of such a result under the proposed Board of Management is not tangible to your Commissioners. The formulation of the policy governing these facilities would be within the province

of Parliament. A distinctive feature of the Department is that its services are often the only means of conveying the necessaries of life to outlying districts to those who are performing the sturdy work of pioneering and developing the country. The Department assists in a marked degree in

retaining and fostering settlement by bringing the people in outlying districts of Australia into closer touch with civiliza­ tion. From evidence given in the various States it is

indisputable that the Post and Telegraph Department will have to continue and extend this carrying function, which is a most important factor in the development of the outlying districts of Australia. The parcel post, and the value payable parcel

post, have grown to such great proportions and are

expanding at such a rapid rate that the services will require the careful and constant attention of the Board of Manage­ ment, in order to secure an effective, economical, and speedy means of transit. Your Commissioners have fully realized the imrortance of the question of country facilities, and will deal more explicitly with it under subsequent sections of this Neport. ·

( 8) If Commissioners were appointed to control the Post and Telegraph Department it wouLd be necessary to abolish tl1e Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.-The removal of staff .matters from the control of the Commonwealth

Public Service Commissioner has been recommended in that section of this Report dealing with the proposed scheme of management. In connexion with the proposed Board of Management, provision should be made for the

appointment of a Chief Inspector, attached to the Central Executive, who, in addition to his other duties, would inquire into appointments, promotions, and transfers as recommended bv the Staff Committee . in each State. · These State Staff would take the place of the Service

Inspectors. Under this scheme of staff control the Chief Inspector would hold the power of review over the recom­ mendations of the State Staff Committees, for the purpose of advising the Board of Management. The adoption of this scheme would place the Board of Management in ;:t strong position to adjudicate on staff matters. The Central

.Executive has very recently recognised the necessity of possessing a more intimate knowledge . of the staff require­ ments of the States, and appointed· a staff committee composed of State Senior Inspectors for that purpose,

but under the present system reference must be made to the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, who has the power of veto. (9) Some officers representing Associations within the Service considered

that the Commonwealth Public' Service Commissioner safeguards their interests, and maintained that independent Commissioners would be directed by strictly commercial principles, and that the officers' status would be reduced.

Your Commissioners consider that th ose mernb ers of the staff who do their wor k thoroughly need not feat· unjust treat­ ment, as a competent Board of Management would dispense with promotion by seniority , and advancement would depend

upon merit. In obtaining the requisite data to enable the Board of Management to act judicially, it would have the assi.--tan('l' of competent State Staff Committees, composed of otti('ials possessing both technical knowl edge and experience of postal affairs, which would . insure equitable treatment to

members of the Service. It is obvious that the existin!.!,· practice of basing promotion on seniority and merit does not result in obtaining the most efficient set·viee. Tilt' ·adoption of the system proposed would be an incentivl' _ to the staff .to aspire to a higher standard of efficieucy.

The only way to obtain a properly efficient and progressin• Department is by recognition of merit and capacity fi•r development. Recommendations on all vital matters pre­ sented by the Associations during the course of the inquiry

will made and will be set out under "Organization."


65. Without restricting facilities to public or inflicting hardship on the Service, substantial economies are possible of attainment hy nu alert management. The management, under the new system recommended in this Report, would speedily recognise this, and would prohably l'ftcd other economies far-reaching character.

The following is a list of more important economies that wonhl result from the.scheme of management as proposed:-:-(a)


RemO'lJal oj stafj matters from the control of the Common­ wealth Public SeTvice Commissione1·.-This would result in an approximate saving of at ]east £10,000 per annum in the cost of administration of staff matters.

Proper Decentmlization.-This would relieve the Central Office of much detail work, as well as of the reviewing· of work executed by the Deputy Postmasters-General, thus tending to destroy the clumsy, cumbersome, and

circumlocutory methods now in vogue.

(c) Direct control of works by Commonwealth Post and Tele­ graph Depm·tment._:_ This system would obviate duplica­ tion d administration .with the Home Affairs Department.



P1·ovision of the fullest facilities for officers to hecome versed in modern methods.-Improved and economical methods would result if the Chief Electrical Engineer, and other leading officers, were enabled to become

personally acquainted with the advances made in tele­ graphy, telephony, and postal matters in other eountries.

Delegation of proper duties to Electrical En{fineers.--By relieving these officers of detail administrntive work and affording them full opportunities to attend to their more important duties considerable economies would he


(.f) Tmining nf

(g) Efficient of a higher stanuard wou1<1

be able to effe ct considerable economies. It is this hraneh of the Service that should be abl e to detect the nt'<:essit.y for, and develop, methods of economy in organization.

Recognition or merit.


No reliable data. obtainable.

Return furnished.

Return not of much value.

Proper charges against capital not settled.


salaries, not allocated,

Crudest of systems.

Annual statements. useless.


(h) Tempora1:1J Officers.-The general employment of this class of official is a most expensive practice. Considerable savings could be effected by the appointment of per­ manent officers when the work is of a. permanent nature.

( i) Uniformity of Accounts and a proper sZJstem rif Bookkeeping. -Such a system, in addition to making for efficiency and simplification, would enable the l>epartment to exercise better control of its finances. This would obviously result in economy, Passed 18th Jun(}, 1910,



6 6. Your Commissioners expPrienced considerable difficulty in procur­ ing satisfactory and definite information in regard to the financial position of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Department. This was evident, not only in connexion with the Central Executive, hut was further emphasized when close examination was made of the principal officials in the States. These officials stated that they were unable to provide the requisite information because the State Post and Telegraph Departments did not issue balance-sheets. No attetnpt in this direction has been made under Commonwealth control until quite recently. This inability to supply definite financial information is a severe reflection on the Department for not providing that primary essential of effective proper system

of accounts. ·

6 7. In their endeavours to obtain the particulars your

Commissioners . requested ·the Department to furnish certain returns to enable them to draft an approximate balance-sheet. The Department has complied with the various requests made in this direction, and, in addition, furnished a return (Parliamentary Paper, No. 41, 1909), prepared by order of Parliament, containing cettaill detailed information. This return was confined to the year 1907, but, beyond conveying a general Impression that the Postal Branch of the Department was a profitable section, and that losses were incurted in the telegraph and telephone services, it is not of much value in disclosing, even approximately, the financial position of the Department.

68. There was a great diversity of opinion among leading officials as to the proper debits against capital for interest, depreciation; and sinking fund. Had a capital account been established the Department would have been compelled to come to a· decision as to the correct charges to be so debited.

6 9. It was discovered that a basis had not been fixed for the

allocation of expenditure on salaries, maintenance, and contingencies to the various branches of the Department, and also that little reliance could be placed on the allotment of general expenditure as between new works and maintenance. The proper allocation of the above-mentioned expenditure is a rudimentary essential of accountancy,· and 'its absence in such a great expending Department discloses a deplorable state of affairs, the existence of the crudest of systems, and most irresponsible management.

'70. The Department furnishes annual statements showing only revenue receipts from its chief branches, and the total expenditute, including new works, for all branches of the service. Such statements are absolutely useless for the purpose of supplying the requisite information to determine the filll'l.ncial position of its several branches,

71. At the initial stages of the tt'ansfer of the State Post aJHl

Telegraph Departrpents, a complete review of the whole :financial position should have been insisted upon.. Such action should have been taken hef(n·v affecting reductions in rates,. and granting concessions, involving

loss to the Department. Had the necessary action referred to been takPn hy the Central Executive in the early stages of Federal control, the ParlianH·nt and the Postmaster-General would have been furnished with a harometet· by,means of which accurate readings could have been obtained as to tile

financial position of the services. This would have warned the Centml Executive against allowing the Department to drift into the unsound financial position which it now occupies. Your Commissioners consider that the existing condition of affairs is indefensible, a.nd demands the imllledinh•

introduction of a proper system of keeping accounts of departmental expenditure .. All expenditure should be apportioned between the Telegraphic, and Telephonic services. This is necessary to enahll' tltt• Department to prepare an annual balance-sheet for public information and for the guidance of Parliament. ·

72. Owing to these disabilities, your Commissioners arc unable to present a balance-sheet of the various branches of the Post aiHl TelPgr:tph Department, but, realizing the vital importance of this feature of tlwit· inquiry, they have endeavoured to draft from the information elicited an approximate financial statement, showing the position of the Department at

the close of the financial year the last year for which wer<·

available, .

Approximate Statement of the Financial Position cif the Post and Telegraph Department. 7 3. So far as could be ascertained, the capital account of the Department amounted, on 1st July, 190H, to £7,595,691, which represents the valtw of the post and telegraph properties transferred to the Commonwealth by tl1e

States Governtnents, and the expenditure ou new works and buildings from the inception of the Commonwealth to that date. The following tahle the yearly increase of the capital account.:-1st March, 1901 ... £6,253,88k (Accepted value of transferrerl

1st July, 1902 6,291,036 propE!rtles).

1st July, 1903 6,426,735

1st July, 1904 6,614,544

1st July, 1905 6,746,373

1st July, 1906 6,892,948

1st July, 1907 7,16R,685

1st July, 1908 7,595,691

the above table (which your Commissioners are obliged

to accept) the amount added to capital account since July, 1901, viz., £1,341,803,ean only be as approxi!llately correct, because properly cha¥geable to capital have been mcluded under the headmg of ordmary expenditure, and, in the . absence of prope-r bookkeeping, full reliance cannot be placed 'on the allotment of expendtture between new

works and maintenance.)

I( 4. Since Federation the funds required for expenditure on capital have been obtained from revenue. Prior to Federation such funds were provided from both loan and revenue, but to what respective extent cannot now be asce!tained. The accounts of revenue and expenditure as kept at present

disclosed the position to be as follows :-Total Revenue from lst March, 1901, to 30th ,Tune, 1909 ... .£23,323,453 Expenditure-Ordinary 22,068,268

Works and Buildings I ,882,987

Total £23,951,255

Excess of Expenqiture over Revenue £627,802

Action imperative.

Fl.nanct&l barometer wanted.

Expenditure to be properly apportioned.

Approximate 1lnancla.l statement.

Capital account.

Revenue and expenditure statement.


Statement valueless.


Your Commissioners consider the above statemf'nt to be absolutely useless, for the following reasons:-( l) Capital expenditure is included as a whole ·in the expenditure, whereas proper charges llgainst capital account only should

have been included. (2) Provision is not · made for interest, and depreciation or

sinking fund, on £6,253,888-the accepted value of the properties transferred by the States Post and Telegraph Departments to the Commonwealth.

Financial position approximately determined.

75. (l) Separating capital expenditure from ordinary expenditure (which covers salaries and other working expenses), and allowing interest on capital at 3t per cent., and sinking fund at 3! per cent. (to redeem capital in approximately 20 years), the following result ensues :-

Estimated loss over 2% mUlton pounds.

Financial provision inadequate.

Total net Revenue, lst March, 1901, to 30th June, 1909 £23,323,453 Expenditure­ Ordinary Interest on capital

Sinking Fund ...

Deficit for Sf years

22,068,268 1,99.5,570 1,982,853


... £2,723,238

(:l) Allowing interest as above and depreciation (including sites) at 5 per cent. in lieu of sinking fund, the following figures are obtained :-Net Revenue .£23,323,453

Expenditure­ Ordinary Interest on capital Depreciation

Deficit for 81 y.ears

22,068,268 1,707,637



(3) Allowing same charges as in Table (2) above, but excluding sites fr9m depreciation :-Net Revenue Expen(liture­

Ordinnry Expenditure Interest on capital Depreciation

Deficit for 8J years


22,068,268 I, 707,637 1,880,291



The revenue and expenditure figures have been obtained from the Auditor-General's Financial Statements.

76. Owing to particulars not 'being available for the current financial year ( 190 9- I 0 ), your Commissioners were compelled to confine their deduc­ tions to the period ended 30th June, 1909.

77. Accepting the most liberal reading of the above three tables, the estimated loss on the transactions of the Department from the inception of the Commonwealth to 30th June, 1909, amounted to at least £2,300,000. In addition to this inordinate loss, both the capital and ordinary expendi­ ture of the Department since Federation has, according to evidence, not been sufficient to meet requirements. This omission to make adequate provision for funds has resulted in the necessity for the expenditure in the immediate future of a considerable sum of money in excess of normal requirements. If this necessary provision had been made as requirements demanded, the enormous deficit of £2.300,000 would have been still further swollen by the additional outlay. If this outlay had been incurred there would naturally have been an increase in the revenue, hut such increase would not have appreciably :tltered the result.


78. The deficit, as set out in the above tables, umnistakably inlli<'att•s an utter d:sregard uf the correct relationship whi ch should exist bd\\"('('11 revenue and expelllliture. One of the principal causes of the detieit was the granting of concessions to the public vvithout apparent considNatiou

of the financial position, their ultimate cost, and their collective on the finances.

79. The following table indicates the estimated loss to 30th June, 180!l, on the more important concessions :-- ·


Reduction of telegraph rates, 1st November, 1902 ... £-180,000

Adoption of uniform termin al and transit charges on inter­ national telegrams, 1st June, 1902 Abolition of cable charge on Inter-State telegrams from 1st October, 1906, to 30th April, 1909

Reduction of telephone rates, 1st February, 1907 Abolition of charges previously made on trunk lines to Central Exchange,.;, 22nd July, 1902 ... Reduction in telephone trunk line charges, 1st F ebruary, 1907,

and 13th September, 1907 Relluction of public telephone charges, 1s t February, 1907 .. .

Heduetion in pos tage rates to United Kingdom and British Possessions, 1st July, J 905 Reduction of charges, Inter-State mon ey orders, l st February, 1906 Reduction of private box and bag fees, 1st June, 1907

Abolition of Inter-State poundage on postal notes, 1st July, 1902 -


25,000 160,000

8,;)00 ;),500


ta,5oo ;),200


Total £863,700

. 80. Other contributing causes of the deficit were. alleged to be-( 1) Non-pa: IJing Mail Services to Countn1 Districts.-At the inception of the Commonwealth 1,42 : ·> services were taken over, involving a loss (compiled on latest information, 1908)

of £57,000 per annum. Two hundred and fifty new services have been added since Federation, the loss on which was estimated at £6,900 for the year l!J08. Your Commissioners are unable to state the total loss since Federation on these

services, as the necessary particulars are not obtainable.

(2) on Over-sea Mail principall,y the Vancouver and

Orient Mail Services.--The spproximate loss on these two services is estimated to be-1901, to 31st Dec., 1909)

Orient Mail Service (l5ti;J. April, 1905, to 31 st Dec., 1909) £156,948 1:19,930


The amounts involved in supplying the above-mentioned non-paying services account for a portion of the disparity between revenue and expenditure. The information {umished would make 'it appear eertain that the postaL sect ion of the Department returns a p1;otit as a whole,

but the extent of such profit was not ascertainable. In view of this

fact, th e postal section of the Department cannot be beld responsible for the deficit, since if these non-paying services had not' been granted the result would simply !tav e been a further inflation of the profit on the postal section.

. '

Utter disreprd of financ11ll relat1o.ablp.

Louea 1D conceutona.


Non-paJing man services.

Loss, .£296,878.


(3) Salaries and Wages Account.

The following tables show the respective increase in revenue as compared with ordinary expenditure, and also a comparison of the percentage increase in revenue with the percentage increase in ordinary expenditure from the year to the year :-


( 1) ExCESS OF ORDINARY EXPENDITURE OVER HE VENUE, and vice versfl for the years 1901-2 to 1908-9.

1901-2. Excess of Ordinary Expenditure over Revenue 1902-3. Excess of Ordinary Expenditure over Revenue 1903-4. Excess of Revenue over Ordinary Expenditure 1904-5. Excess of Revenue over Ordinary Expenditure 1905-6. Excess of Revenue over Ordinar.v Expenditure 1906-7. Excess of Revenue o•er Ordinary Expenditure 1907-8. Excess of Revenue over Ordinary Expenditure 1908-9. Excess of Revenue over Ordinary Expenditure

£558 64,714 186,259 438,212 381,261 339,558

£57,784 28,417

£1,410,562 £86,201

Total Excess of ReYenue over Ordinary Expenditure, 1901-2 to 1908-9 ... £1,324,361

(2) Cor.IPARISON OF THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN REVENUE with the Percentage Increase in Ordinary Expenditure from to 1908-9.


PercenJage increase 1902-3 over 1901-2 Percentage increase 1903-4 over 1902-3 Percentage increase 1904-5 over 1903-4 Percentage increase 1905-6 over 1904-5 Percentage illcrease over

Percentage increase 1907-8 over 1906-7 Percentage increase 1908-9 over 1907-8

Percentage increase 1908-9 over 1901-2


l · 3 per cent.

4 · 4 per cent. 4 · 8 per cent.

7 · 3 per cent. I 0 · 7 per c.ent. 5 · 5 per cent. 3 · 3 per cent.

43 · 7 per cent.

Ordinary Expenditure. 0 ·I per cent. 3 ·I per cent. 2 · 3 per cent. 2 · 7 per cent. l · 9 per cent.

8 • 5 per cent. 5 · 2 per cent.

26 · 3 per cent.

(3) CoMPARisoN oF PE:tw:ENTAGE INcREASE oF SAr.AmEs AND P:t&CEN'rAGE INCREA!'.E oF REVENl1Nl for calendar years 1901 to 1910! according to figures supplied by Commonwealth Public Sm•vice Commissioner. ·

1901 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910



Permanent Officers.


£1,208,222 1,262,530 1,31.5,369 1,357,426 1,369,3H8 1,389,054 1,436,563 1,516,358 1,566,393

Petcentage increase of Salaries over previous year.

4·18 3·19 ·88 1•43 3•42

5·5 3•29

Percentage increase on 1901 29·64

Percerttage increase of Revenue over previous year.

2·51 6·01 5·0:> 10•

7·69 4·4 4•86



Permanent, Temporary, and. Exempt Salaries. Percentage Increase in Salaries anJ Wages over Payments for 1901-3!)·2.

Accrued Cost of Minimum Wage. ] 902-3 £44,000

1904 17,000

1905 17,000

1906 17,000

1907 17,000

1908 17,000

1909 IO,OCO


These amounts are greater part approxi­ ma,te, but i(, is considered the tota,l expendi· ture has not exQeeqed £140,000.

Average Salaries.

New South Wales Victoria Queensland South Australia

Westerrl Australia Tasmania


... £118

122 138 11:1 127 107



I :z;; 133 13!)



These averages do not take into paymE)pts by way of District Allowance.

81. From these tables it is apparent that the increase in working expenses is not accountable for . the deficit since the percentage cost of earning the revenue decreased during the period reviewed.

82. Your Commissioners therefore conclude that the DepnrtuJent's unsound financial position is due to the fact that telegraphic and telcphoni<' services are rendered at rates which do not return revenue sutticJent to cover aU charges a.gainst capital account, and working expenses.


83. From evidence presen,t.ed by various lea

( 1) That the services should be conducted without concern as to their solvency, . the Department relying on Consolidated Reve:nue to reimburse losses. ·

(2) That the services should be conducted on a basis,

the Department being treated as a commercial proposition. (3) That the services1 with special provision for sections,

such as mail subsidies and outlying services in country districts, should be self-supporting. Such special provision to be made by grants in aid from Consolidated Revenue, or by grants of assistance from tile States' Governments. ( 4) That the services should be as a Commonwealth


84. With regard to the first proposition, your Commissioners consider that this has to a great extent been the financial policy of the Department in the past, and that it is a policy that calls for immediate alteration.

86. As to the second proposition, your Commissioners desire to dispose at once of the propriety of making the services profit-making, since the Der,:;u:tment:. as well as performing functions of a character, fal'1ht1es which tend to develop the country. In many mstanees contmuous

settlement depends upon constant and regular mail services. This is notably the case in the outlying parts of Western Australia and Queensland, where ordinary necessaries of life are supplied by means 1of the mail services. In such cases it can be said that these services are auxiliaries to the main­

tenance of progressive settlement, and tend to ameliorate the conditions of the pioneering section of the Commonwealth. Subsidies for mail and cable services ca.n be classified for treatment a,S, in the preceding paragraph. It can readily be understood that outsid.e

the immediate interests of the commercial community a speedy o-versea mml se.rvice and a cheap cable sel'Vice pe:ri-orm national work of the highest

' , \ '\

Telegraph nud Telephone ra\01 too low.

Diverse opiDion.

Department not to be solely profit-making.


Speedy oversea and cable l8l'Vioe requisite.


importance, such services being the connecting link between Australia and the outside world. The subvention increase to tl1e Orient Mail Service, in addition to the conveyance of mails, provides ihcrcased facilities fur the carriage of perishable products. This increased cost should not, in the opinion of your Commissioners, l!ave be<'l1 debited against the Post and Telegraph I lepartment, but against Consolid:ued Hevemw.

Posr. and Tel"graph Department should Le troated as a complete ttnanci11.l


86. In regard to the third propositioJl, viz., that t1JC Department be self.supporti1lg with eertain grants in aid for special services, your Com­ rnissioners are of the opinion grauts in aid are not justifiable, and

consider that tl1e services should be treated as a c01nplete financial proposition. The revenue from States with larger population and larger volume of business should (without unduly increasing the rates) make up for the losses on the services in Jess populous Stc.tes. Your Commissioners did not obtain information sufficient to warrant them in recommending that the States' Governments assist the Commonwealth in cor.nexion with

unremunerative services which assist in development.

Services should be self­ supporting.

Postal side profitable.

Loss on telegraphic and telephonic services.

Limited information available.

8 '7. Regarding the fourth propos1tron, that the Departnwnt be self­ supporting as a Commonwealth concern. the balance of evide11ce is in favour of the services being made self-supporting as far as possible. Your Commissioners recommend that the Department should be self-supporting as a whole, and consider that this is practicable without the lessening of facilities. The services should be vi ewed as a Commonwealth concern, and

the term " self-supporting " should be applied to the functions of the Department as a whole, irrespective of any particular State, and also to each main branch of the services, viz., postal, telegraphic, and telephonic.

88. The evidence shows that on the postal side proper a profit is made. The mail serviees furnish nn instance where each member of the public is levied upon for the services actually rendered, while those who use the telegraphic and telephonic services do not recoup the Department for the :,ervices rendered. Consequently, the postal section of the Department has to assist in carrying the financial burden · of the telegraph and telephone sections. This is di stinctly inequitable, and the result is that the mail facilities to outlying districts suffer while telegraphie and

telephonic facilities are furnish ed at a loss. For the purpose of obtaining reliable information on this point, your Commissionel's in all cases when accountants were under examination endeavoured to obtain a statement of the relative cost of obtaining £1 of revenue in the various services of the

p epartm.ent, but with few exceptions the officers were unable to supply this mformatwn. ·

89. Your Commissioners endeavoured to obtain the above mentioned witlr the obJect of definitely establishing which were paying

and whwh were non-paymg branches of the Department, and of showing the relative extent to which they were paying or non-paying. The ·

Accountant in New South ·wales estimated the cost of earnino· £1 of, revenue to be as :--


Postal Service

Telegraph Service

Telephone t:lervice

£0 14 10

9 6

l 5 0

The only other information on this subject was supplied by the South · Australian representative of the Commonwealth Auditor-General, who had for many years been associated with the Accounts Branch in New South


Wales. This witness' estimate of the cost of obtai'ning £1 of revenue m South Australia was as follows :---:-Service

Telegraph Service Telephone Service

£0 15 10

1 1 5

1 a 2

90. In addition .to the figures quoted, the Chief Electrical Engineer Figorea only stated that to obtain £1 of revenue from the telephone service involved :ut approximate. expenditure of £1 7s., exclusive of sinking fund. Your Commissioners are not prepared to recorinnend the acceptance of the above fignres impiicitly, as the bases of the cal culations were uot. "?-niform. The Accountant in New South Wales and the Audit Inspl't'tor

m Australia varied considerably in their estimate of charges np:ninst capttal account, while the Chief Klectrical Engineer confined his estin1:1te to the telephone service, as it applied to the telephone networks of

Melbourne and Sydney. This portion of the evidence was of such :ut involved nature that it makes clear the difficulty of obtaining detiuite financial information.

91. Your in recommending that the Common wealth Deficit to be

Post and Telegraph Department be made self-supporting in the future, written off. recommend that the deficit of £2,300,000 should he written off'.


92. Evidence was received that under . State control insuf'licieut provision had been. made for funds for the purposes of the States Post and Telegraph Departments, and that the services (with the exceptiou of the telegraph and telephone lines in South Australia) were more or less 'starved for many years prior to Federation, the result beicg that 1lwy

were handed over · to the Commonwealth in a far from effective condition From this it is evident that a serious burden was placed on the Common­ wealth Post and Telegraph Department at its inception. This starvation process has, however, been continu . ed under Commonwealth

and the position became a cute intheyears 1907-8 and·l9U8-9. It may be observed . that for the current year 190H-JO more liberal financial provision has been made. Sufficient fu nds have not been provided to construct necessary works to meet the ever-expanding business of the

Department. Neglect of thorough and effective maintenance has caused the lines and plant to deteriorate, and its postponement has simply resulted in increasing the financial burden .

. 93. The starving process also applied to the funds for permanent staff, necessitating the employment of temporary hands, the money spent on which could have been more economically expended by appointing necessary permanent staff.

94. Public complaints of inability to obtain effi cient telegraphic telephonic services are largely due to this very deplorable state of affatrs. Later in .this Report will be described in detail the condition ?f the telegraphicand telephonic services in each State, as shown by the evidence

of the Chief Electrical Engineer, the Electrical Engineers of the States, and other officials.

Starvation process continued.

Deterioration of lines 1\nd plant.

9 5. In the more populous 8tates, the enormous iucrease in business has not been met by the provision of adequate funds to meet the increased demand. This is answerable for the insufficient permanent staff, cient telegraph lines to carry the business expeditiously, and . m the

generally inefficient telephonic service, as di sclosed during the of this .inquiry. Spasmodic attempts to remedy this lamentable condition · · f' ·h· cond1t1on

have been ·made by the Department since the commencement o t IS ·



Misuse of surplu!l revenue.

9 6. The departmental officers examined alleged that the want of funds, and the consequent inefficient condition of the services, are due to the action of the Treasurer in curtailing and cutting down the Estimates as submitted by the Department. Your Commissioners found that there was a desire on the part of the various Commonwealth Treasurers . to return as

much revenue as possible to the States Governments beyond their consti­ tutional proportion. A portion of the la1•ge sums (amounting to over £6,000,000) that the States Treasurers have thus received should have been employed in properly maintaining- the services of the Post and Telegraph Department, and in providing for its proper staffing and for necessary extensions. Had the Commonwealth retained, as it was entitled to do, some of the surplus revenue handed to the States Governments, and used it in the direction indicated, the services would now have been in a healthy condition, so far as their working capacity is concerned.

Cutting down Estimates.

9 7. To show the extent to which the Estimates of the Department have been reduced, the following table is submitted, which sets out the amounts originally asked for by the Deputy Postmasters-General, and the appropriation· finally granted by Parliament :-



(I!'urni$ht:d by Central Office.)

____ ..........._ _ _ __ __


Ordinary 1901- 2 1902-3 1903-4 1904-5 1905-6 1906- 7 1907-8 1908-9

- .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ele· and New Works, T graph phone- 1901-2 1902-3 1903-4 1905-6 1907-S 11108-9 Totals- 1901 - 2 1008-4 ]904- 5 190li-6 1906-7 1907-8 1908- 9 ..
















Draft Estil!l!>tel! as submitted by D.l'.)'4.'sG. (Includes Central


2,51],441* 2,509,245t 2,567,270 2,596,715 2,659,228 2,681,271 2,911,893 3,196,189



413,588 332,846 322,721 283,947 200,622 244,870 558,155 806,068

-.----- .. - ----2,925,029* 2,842,091t 2,889,991 2,880,662 2,859 ,750 2,926,141 3,470,048 4,002,257 ----- ..

Al submitted by Treasury to

farliallle.nt. -----


2,431,441* 2,379,700t 2,460,299 2,533,539 2,578,838

2,805,277 2,1>55,917 ---- .. ------

32,729 197,066 194,812 155,000 149,150 217,722 300,000 356,140 ------ .. ------2,464,170* 2,576,775t 2.655,111 2,727,988 2,863,923 3,105,277 3,312,057 ..





80,000 129,586 106.971 63;176

80,390 35,070 106,616 2,0,272 -- .-- .. ------

380,8fi9 135,780 127,909

51,372 258,155

----- . . -------460,859 265,3!5 234,880 192,12? 131,762 62,\l18 364,771 690, 200 .. • Including arrears .o 30th June,"1901, £125,128. t lneludlng arrears 1901-2, £37,056.

'rota) (}! Total Amount\! l,!ltl:!pate Appro- granted by pri.atiQ!l.· -----£ £ 37,240 2,4ft8,681 54, 7Q!} 84,117 2,544,416 32,432 2,5l)&,971 56,262 2,635,100 M81!,57l 117,375 .2,922,652 72,5119 --- -- < Uil,lH 21,21!2,;75 .. 32,729 .. 197,066 194,812 4,61() 149,150 05,01)1) 365,009 ---- ---- 110,631 \,713,25<1 ---- -----37,240 2,501,410 54,769 2,&31,544 84,ll7 37,042 2,725,581 56,2611 2,784,!!50 2,913,166 182,.384 :1,2S7;6§1 100,728 . . . . . . 601,785 2il,991>,625 -·- -· · . -. ·- - .. ..

Tqta.! Amounts

Expenditure. ·c uv,l>lt• pended.

----£ £ 2,395,6l)9 ll,;lao,ns 2,457,857 86,559 2,577,796 57,304 lill,ll?ll 2,859,410 63,242 - .--- ---. 20,792,t79 489,1"6 32,f29 ii9:754 97,812 131,332 63,480 91,486 68,176 118,814 35,336 USii 856,'7411 8,261l l!S.S,;l99 ---- __ ____,__ ----2,428,418 72,992 2,478,W5 153,519 2,689,189 150,039 2,691,610 2,845,0f2 6$,18i 8,216,1 3 ?UQ& 1),367,887 ?T4,M2 -r • L 1 t . lllcblucUng for Ye!'rs 1906-?, ;J.IJ.d lMS-1), as .. rds ordinary votes lllAQiWI;.

. Qg, The drastiQ nature of these reductions is emphasi:r.ed hy the declaration of the responsible State officials that in no instance were thl' reductions. Estimates inflated. The effect of these reductions has simply been thl· postponement of the liabilities. This discloses want of fort•- Want of foresight.

sight, and absence of thorough consideration of the needs of the Depart-ment by the Treasurers; resulting in fal se economy at the expense of tlw public. It was claimed by some witnesses that it was not alwny:-; insufficiency of funds which prevented works from being carrieLl out. l t

was shown that during the period 190 to 1907-8 £282,970 out of tlu• total money provided for telephone and telegraph works was not exp(•n

now expends practically all the money appropriated for telegraph a11tl telephone workE. Considerable sums provided for works under the control of the Department of Home Affairs have not. been expended, owiug to tlw late passage of the Estimates by Parliament, and, in many instances, through

the States Works Departments giving priority to their own works. This defect would be overcome if the Post and Department established a capital_ account, and assumed responsibility for the construction of its own works. · ·

99. Another effect of the curtailment of funds is that the stores account has been placed on such a meagre basis as to compel the Depart­ ment to purchase supplies in the most primitive manner. This is the falsest of economy. The Chief Electrical Engineer gave instances where Fa1a' economy.

the Department had to buy odd lots of copper wire and job lots of insula-tors, while in many cases lines had to be built without insulators. Tlw absence of reserve stocks of materials was the cause of general eomplaint. It was alleged that the Department was unable to obtain sufficient Living from

construction materials, and was "living from hand to mouth." hand to mouth.

100. Another aspect of the question of insufficient funds was that votes for conveyance of mails had also been considerably reduced, with the result that facilities were thereby unjustifiably restricted . .


101. With reference to the question of funds, your Commissioners •consider that the Treasurer is not the financial expert of the Post and Tele­ graph Department, because it is impossible for him to have a thorough grasp of the financial needs of that Department. In view of this, the

assumption of all power by the Treasurer in regard to the expenditure of the Post and Telegraph Department is a striking instance of one authority holding power, and another authority being compelled to assume responsibility. Such a policy has had the effect of depriving

the Post and Telegraph Department of power to carty out its respon­ sibilities. In the appropriation for the current year (1909-10) the provision for ordinary expenditure has been increased £100,000, and a sum of £180,ll00 in excess of the previous year has been provided for new

works. This apparently indicates that the folly of astarvation policy has now been recognised, and to some extent rectified.

TreASurer nnable to thoroughlv grasp needs of Depa1tment.


Folly ot' star-vatton policy tardily recognised.

102. The continuous curtailment of the provision made in the yearly Excessive use at Estimates for permanent staff has compelled the Department the Commonwealth to employ temporary assistants. These temporary officmls, after being trained to some degree of efficiencv, have to be discharged, and a fresh batch of' untrained men is appointed. This is a costJy and

dumsy method of administration, necessitating the withdrawal of manent office:s from their regular duties for the purp?se _instructmg temporary asststants. The neglect to make adequate staff pro':1s1on to meet the natural increase of business, as well as new business occaswned by the granting of concessions, has been the cause, to a considerable degree, of

F.8564. o

Shortage ot staff.

Increase recently made.

Disregard of ordinary business methods.

Purchase of material by tender.

Buying agent.

Preference to local material.

Wholesale purchasing.

Illustration' or • · · ;: unnecessart loss. \

public complaints. It also had the effect of 111aking fot discontent in the Public Service by causing overtime, postponement of leave, and other disabilities. In every State serious complaints were mad.e of shortage of staff, practically in every branch of the Department's serviCes.

In 19{16-7 1,000 additional officers were provided for on the Estimates for Commonwealth requirements, but funds for only 600 were granted by the Treasurer. Of 1,157 additional officers asked for by New South Wales for the period 1905-6 to 1 907-8 only 848 were granted. The position in regard to staff shortage was found to be most acute in New South 'iV and most noticeable in the engineering, construction, telephone, and mall branches. Evidence of the seriousness of the position is disdosed by the fact that on the Estimates for the year 1909-10 provision has been made for

1,500 additional officers, at an immediate annual cost of £130,000.


103. Insufficiertcy of funds prevents the Department in all the States frotn holding reserves of materials. The Chief Electrical Et1gineer, the States' Electrical Eng,ineers, and other responsible officers, complained of the want of reserve stocks. So far as construction materials are concerned1 the Department has been working in a most primitive manner, exhibiting an utter distegard of ordinary business methods, and entailing .a cumbersome and expensive system of pmchase. Your Commissioners recommend that six to nine months reserve stocks should be held.

i 04. Your Commissioners consider that the purchase of all construction materials by tender (claimed by witnesses as the most economical system) is not as economical as is generally deemed by the offidals. All mat€lrials of a standard character, such as wire, cables, switchboards, insulators, battery material, &c., could be purchased more satisfactorily if the Department had! a buying agent in London with power to purchase material in the various:

centres of production, thus availing itself of favorable market conditions. Arrangements could be made for goods to be consigned to the various centres in the Commonwealth as required. It is not desired to convey the impression that, by the adoption of the preceding recommendation,, it is either necessary or desirable that Australian manufacturers should be excluded fron1 consideration. If supplies of local production can be: procured, preference of a reasonable nature should be given.

105. The wholesale purchase of supplies has been adopted by tne Department only within reqent years, and is confined to a few lines. The Department is now extending the practice, but its earlier application would have resulted in considerable economies. .

1 06. Your Commissioners recommend that a " Materials Purchase Account'' or " Suspense Account" shoul-d be immediately established, ia order to pl3ce the Department in a position to secure its constraetion in a systematic manner, and avail itself of favorable markets. A

remarkab1e example of the necessity for holding surplus stocks was the purchase in a high market of copper wire for the Sydney-Melbourne telephone line. The Department had to pay no less a sum than £11,000 more than it would h.ave paid if an earlier ptl.rchase had been mad.·e when ceppe.r was

quoted at a normal figure.


Neto South Wales.

r ' l07> .When taken over from the State, certain main lines in New Soutli (1"W-'alles but apart from this the lines were in fairly good

,t:ntr ·orier. Sinc<:9·:that date repairs and strengthening have been carried out so i d:f,:t :' -far as possible ; but it was alleged that the funds provided have not bee·n ,]il{ '· '


sufficient to fully maintain the lines, and provide new lines necessnt·y to cope with the business expeditiously. Repair and maintenance work has had to be postponed to some extent through the maintenance staff \)eing· employed on new works. Funds for new lines have been asked for,

but not granted, with the result that existing lines are in many cases seriously congested. The present position is that the main lines are in fairly good order; but on country lines there is a large amount of mainten­ ance and duplication requiring attention when funds are provided. A

number of new lines are also stated to be required to carry the tratiie, especially between. Sydney and Albury, Sydney and Wallangarra (an extrn line has already been built from Brisbane to Wallangarra), Sydney nnd Cootamundra, Sydney and Moss Vale, Syd.ney and Tamworth, Glen Innes

and Tabulam, and Taree and Kempsey, &c.


108. The lines when taken over were in a bad state of repair, antl in urgent need of attention, owing to inadequate maintenance. The State Electrical Engineer said that in 1901 it would have cost at lt•nst

£30,000 to put the lines in order. Since Federation maintenance parties have been formed, and an attempt has been made to remedy this state of affairs, but maintenance has been starved under Commonwealth control also, and the lines in Victoria are still in a most unsatisfactory condition.

In no other State is such a se1·ious amount of arrears of mainten:uwe to be overtaken. It was alleged that for fifteen or twenty years fuuds supplied for maintenance had been insufficient. There are over 3,000 miles of lines needing more or less repair, and it was stated that

if the lines do not receive better there may be a serious

collapse. In 1908 an inspection of the metropolitan district disclosed the astounding fact that 1,617 poles were unfit for further use, and had to he condemned. Some of these poles are absolutely rotten, and a menace to public safety. At the time of this inspection there were only 267 poles in stock, and funds were not available to procure more. The number of

lines was said to be sufficient. ·


109. It was stated that in 1901 the main lines in this State were in good condition) and that wooden pole lines in one or two western districts were in a bad state of repair, but generally the branch lines were in govd order. Since Federation maintenance has been carried

out so far as funds would allow. It was claimed by the State

Electrical Engineer that the lines are now maintained in an efficient condition. Some of the poles in the metropolitan area are overloaded, but this will be relieved when the telephone lines are undergrounded. The present lines are stated to be insufficient for the traffic. Additional lines are said to be required between Bowen and Cairns, Cloncurry and Richmond,

and Brisbane and Toowoomba. Delays between Brisbane and Sydney are frequent owing to want of an additional line between WaUangarra and Sydney, but the Queensland section between Brisbane and Wallangarra has been completed for some time.

South Australia.

110. When taken over the lines in South Australia were in excellent order. Since Federation they have been maintained in that condition. The lines are fairly adequate for present traffic requirements.

Western Australia.

111. Maintenance had not been systematically carried out on all lines prior to Federation, and certain sections of line, particularly in the north, required overhauling and strengthening. Since Federation the has been systematized, and is receiving attention so far as funds permit.


Re:t>air and mamtenance work postponed.

New lines required.

Ba.d state ot linea.

Danger of collapse.

Lines not sutllcien t.

Lines in good order.


Poles overloaded.

"£462,485 necessarv.

Installation of obsolete switchboards.

No improvement in construction methods.

The liries are now in fair condition, but the Iimintemince provisioh is said to be insufficient to keep them in a proper state of efficiency. The poles of the Perth aerial lines are so overloaded that the wires actually

support the poles. An additional line of 2,116 miles to the notth-west is urgently required.


112. In many instances the Tasmanian lines when taken over were in need of extensive repairs. In 1907 an Electrical Engineer was appointed, and the necessary work undertaken.


113. In May, 1901, a Departmental Committee.' cons1stmg of Sir Charles Todd, Deputy Postmaster-General and Supermtendent of Tele­ graphs, South Australia; J. Y. Nelson, Chief Electrician, New South Wales; H. W. Jenvcy, Chief Electrician and Telegraph Engineer, Victoria; and J. Hesketh, Electrical Engineer, Queensland, was appointed by the

Commonwealtp. Postmaster-General to inquire into all matters connected with the telephone systems of the several States. This Committee reported that an expenditure of £4t12,485 was necessary to put the telephone systems in good order. This amount was made up as follows:-

New South Wales £93,001

Victoria 226,3f:l4

Queensland ... 20,300

South Australia 90,000

Western Australia ... 32,800 (exclusive of new switch boards

for Perth and l<,remantle.)

Tasmania (no estimate prepared)


114. Provision for this expenditure was not and the funds pro· vided since Federation for new telephone works have been such as to barely enable new subscribers to be connected to the existing systems, and had not, until after the commencement of this inquiry, a1lowed any expenditure on reconstruction works of any magnitude. Systems and switchboards not up to date have had to be insta1led on account of want of modern material and trained staff. Although the growth of telephone business has been abnormal it has not been met by provision of necessary funds.

115. The result of unduly curtailing expenditure was p.ointed out repeatedly by the Department, and the required provision was made on the Estimates, but was reduced by the Treasurer. The longer reconstruction is deferred and the longer installation of a new system is postponed the more expensive the work becomes, on account of extensions made to the old . system. Construction methods were found to be practically the same as

in 1901, as the Department claimed it had been impossible to improve those methods since that date, although the adoption of improved methods would obviously have tended towards economy. It may be mentioned that between 1886 and 1904 the New York Telephone Company's plant was reconstructed three times to bring the equii)ment up to the highest standard, and to . render the service more efficient. From 1900 to 1907 the Bell Telephone

Company, United States of America, spent about £70,000,000 on telephone undertakings.

116. A detailed account is submitted of the condition of the

telephone services of the several States when taken over by the together with a description of the attempts made by the Department

. to Improve those conditions, and to meet the demands of the public.

New South Wales.

117. When taken over by the Commonwealth, the telephone boards and instruments in Sydney were at that time The main

routes of all lines were in underground tunnels, in which were Jniu cables provided ·w ith metallic circuits, but distribution . to subscribers' premises was by single wires ; junction lines were also single wires. A common battery is being installed in the Central Telephoue

Exchange, a section of which is now in use. The evidence showed that additional junction lines had been. provided between the central and suburban exchanges, and tl1at to a considerable extent the junction liut•s had been made metallic circuit. Plans for new exchanges have been

drafted, and specifications prepared for new switchboards for man.Y of the branch exchanges, whose equipment is insufficient to cope expeditiously with tl1e traffic. The important requirements in the Sydney netwol"k were found to be---'-New buildings for branch exchanges; new switchboards

for branch exchanges ; extension of underground conduits for cables ; and extension of metallic circuits from cables to subscribers' premises. ' r : • , . .

Common b&tterJ switchboard installed.

118. The arrears in regard to switchboards for branch exchanges in Arrears serious. the Sydney area are serious. In country districts in New South Wales many of the exchanges require immediate attention, owing to the rapiu growth of business. One of the most important of these is at N ewcastlc, for which a new switchboard has been ordered, but the wires have not hee11

undergrounded owing to alleged insufficiency of funds.

119. The telephone aerial wires and cables in the city and suburbs of Sydney are seriously congested, and further undergrounding is necessnry. Sufficient funds and trained staff are not available for this purpose. The magneto switc1Jboanl at the Central Exchange, Sydney, for flat rate

subscribers is out of date. Your Commissioners also found that the great demands made upon it impaired its efficiency. On the ne w common battery Impaired 1)o:w1 there is sufficient accommodation for all measured service subscribers, efficiency hut nnt for all subscribers. There are not enough transfer lines between

the common battery board and the magneto boards in the Central Excl!auge. More junction lines are required with branch exchanges.


120. The Victorian telephone service was found to be in the most unsatisfiwtory condition of any in the Commonwealth. In Melbourne the switchboard and instruments were obsolete. The Chief Electrical Engineer staten that he knew of only one other system in the whole world which

was in a similarly antiquated condition. The switchboard was condemned . twenty years previously, at the time when the State Government took over the service from the private company which conducted it. The technical experts reported at that time that metallic circuits and undergrounding

were necessary ; but the State Government did not provide the funds requisite for the purpose. The deplorable condition of the Melbourne telephone service when transferred to the Commonwealth is evident from the fact that at that period the Electrical Engineers' Committee

estimated that it would cost £226,000 to place the service in an efficient condition. Although since Federation attempts have been made to improve the service by the provision of additional junction lines, extra attendants, and new instruments at subscribers' premises, the funds provided are stated

to have been inadequate even to extend the old system, much less to replace it with a proper system. The evidence disclosed that the Melbourne TelcplH'ne Exchange and lines were in much the same condition as in 1901, the only difference being that the network was larger, and, therefore,

expensive to reconstruct. Recently steps have been taken to put the in an efficient condition, and a common batterv switchboard is now m course of erection, and undergrounding of line& lirovis.ion fo:r metallic circuits are being , ,


New switch­ boards and lines req11ired.



121. When taken over by the Commonwealth the Brisbane telephone service was in a fairly efficient condition. Since Federation many urgent extensions of telephone lines have been deferred, owing to alleged insuffi­ ciency of funds. A common battery switchboard is being erected in the Central Exchange, but many important country exchanges require new switchboards and extensive provision for new lines. With the completion of the new common battery switchboard and the installation of metallic circuits the Brisbane service should be satisfactory.

South Australia.

_ 122. In Adelaide, in 1901, the telephone switchboard was not up to date, and the lines were single wire aerial lines, but the instruments New switch- at subscribers' premises were good. New switchboards had been

boards ordered. ordered for Adelaide and Port Adelaide, and undergrounding of lines had been proceeded with to a considerable degree, but the poles were seriously overloaded. Subscribers have had to put up with an inefficient service owing, it was said, to want of sufficient funds to underground the wires and supply metallic circuits. In Adelaide, at the time of this inquiry, about 60 per cent. of the wires were metallic circuit. More junction lines are required between telephone exchanges ; 'this is especially the case between Adelaide and Port Adelaide.

Good service impossible.

Poles overloaded.

Only efficient I!,YStem m the Commonwealth.

Enforced limitation of inquiry.

Weste1·n Australia.

123. The system taken over by the Commonwealth at Perth was the original system with aerial lines, the congestion on which made a good service impossible, although metallic circuits were provided for the majority of subscribers. The undergrounding of wires at Perth, Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, and other towns in this State await the voting of the neces­ sary funds. The poles are overloaded, threatening danger to life and property. The switchboards and instruments at the large exchanges are not modern. A common battery switchboard is being procured for Fremantle, and a similar board is required for Perth.


124. In Hobart, in 1901, the oldest pattern of non-multiple switch­ board was in use with aerial single wire lines, and indifferent instruments. Since that date a common battery switchboard has been installed at Hobart with metallic circuits, and the Hobart service was found at the time of this inquiry to be the most efficient in the whole Commonwealth.

The system in Launceston is obsolete, but a common battery switchboard has been ordered for that city. In the country exchanges reconstruction is necessary, especially in regard to metallic circuits.

Telephone T1·unk Lines.

125. In all the States necessary extensions of trunk lines were stated to be delayed through insufficiency of funds.

General Deductions.

126. Your Commissioners, in reporting on this important section of their inquiry, consider it necessary to state that their investigations were limited to the evidence submitted by the Chief Electrical Eno-ineer, the State Electrical Engineers, and other leading officials, who were

39 39

responsible for the services. Independent expert evidence was not obtainable. All the officials examined claimed ins"Q.fficiency of fLmds to be the sole cause of the ill-conditioned state of the services. It is probable that tlw ."\vant of efflGient method and foresight may also be answerable to some extent

for the unsatisfactory condition of the telegraph and telephone services. Had a Chief Electrical Engineer been appointed in 1901 probably thL· a.c 1ng. introduction of improved methods would have been the restllt. N. B.- . Since this was u;ritten Dr. Bell, inventor of the le.lep!tone, has

been examined. !lis epi£/,er2ce mainly oorrob01·ated #v1-t of the local techn:iml experts.

Amount now 1·equired to put the Telegraph and Telephone Services in an efficient condition, and to provide for necessary e.r:tensions.

12 7, Evidence was by the Chief Electrical Engineer and the £2,69(1,000 odd St3te Ele.ctrical Engineers that a SJ.un of £2,519 1079 was to place requued. the Telegrtlph . and Telephone BranGhe& of the Department iu proper working condition, A summary of the a,lleged reqnirements is submitted

hertl11nde:r. (Full details will be found in to the Minutes of



New South Wales Victoria ...

Queensland South Australia ...

Western ···â€¢



New Wor)<:s. B.atteries, MainteJ,!.;mce. Stll>ff. Tote.!., &c,

- .- . . --- -- .-.--- . ----·---

£656,258 £48,000 £118,5.00

622,398 12,000 167,830

160,000 15,555 71,503

144,241 13,418 18,850

.••.• · I98,5ll . J5,000

. 1;500 1Q,9:,17

l,82s,o52 -ro5,4n45s,I76j

.£64,270 36,651 12,815 5,136

9,455 4,061



259,H7:l 181,64.) 282,.'522 69,)32



N.B.-Tl).!) tptal 1/.lllOuJJ.t cpy!)rs am:):ars and extensions, for which figures are not obtainable. ·

1 As a result of neglect and in Capital account

to pt! for absolute reqmrements durmg the next few years, a consider- of £2,000,000 able amount of capital, amounting probably to about £2,0.00,000, will have necessary. to be provided. Your Commissioners consider that any further delay in providing for this expenditure will be fraught with serious consequences.

129. Your Commissioners do not deem it within their province to recommend in what manner the necessary funds should be obtained. They consider that this is distinctly ·a matter of Government policy.


130, A complaint was made generally by the officials that the ment had experienced serious difficulties in regard to securing funds through the repeated late passage of the Esthnates by Parliament, a:nd thro\lgh the lapsing of funds on the 30th June i,n each year. As a

re&Qlt of this practice works hav,e had to be deferred l).ntil the latter part of the financial year, often necessitating a re-vote, for

Belated passage of Estimates.


How to avoid lapsing of moneys voted.

delay in establishing an efficient and economical service. Further, this treatment of the Estimates enabled the States Governments to obtain large sums of money beyond their constitutional amount, particularly in 1907-8, when the total unexpended balance for all Departments was £457,000. In that year £330,613 beyond the constitutional amount was returned to the

States. Had the additional Estimates of that year, amounting to £321,000, been passed earlier, the Commonwealth would have been the gainer to that extent, and the Department would have consequently received a large sum, which would have materially assisted in placing its services in a more efficient condition. If the recommendation (made in the earlier portion of this Report) that money for new works be voted in the form of

a capital account be adopted, it will dispose .of the recurrence of such difficulties.

Suggestion not aoproved.

\ 7

oting of 1 ump ::ums.

Generalization of expenditure not advisable.

Loss by fire • .

131. Numerous objections were raised by leading officials in con­ nexion with the preparation of the Estimates. were made that

the Deputy Postmasters-General should meet at the office of the Central Executi\'e for the purpose of dealing with the Estimates by consultation, and by discussion with the Minister and the Permanent Head. Your Commissioners do not approve of this suggestion, and have provided for .the proper treatment of this subject, and the discontinuance of such

conferences, under that section of the Report dealing with Management.

132. It was contended that a lump sum should be provided for unfore­ seen expenses on account of new works and materials. This will not be neces­ sary under the scheme of voting funds for works and construction material in the form of a capital account. As to voting a lump sum for staff and

contingencies to meet sudden developments or unforeseen emergencies, your Commissioners are of the opinion that a continuation of the present practice of using the Treasurer's Advance Account meets all such requirements.

133. The suggestion that, in the preparation of the Estimates, many of the details now given should be generalized, your Commissioners are unable to approve, as the power of revision and control exercised by .Parliament would thereby be :curtailed, and the public would be restricted in obtaining information as to the expenditure of public funds. Further, the process of generalizing items of expenditure might lead, if not to extravagance, to careless expenditure by the Department.

134. The Estimates as now prepared group telegraph and telephone repairs, instruments, material, and maintenance. These items sho.uld be shown separately, so as to disclose more definitely the actual expenditure for each branch of the service.


135. The Post and Telegraph Department does not make any provision for underwriting or insuring its property, and officials were examined as. to the advisability of forming a departmental insurance fund. The losses by fire during the last few years amount to a very consider­ able sum. The loss by the fire at the Melbourne Post Office Stores, in 1907, was about £13,000, and by the fire in Sydney, in 1909,at the

George-street Stores, about £10,000. The replacing of such destroyed material is a heavy charge against one year's revenue. In view of this experience, your Commissioners recommend that a departmental fire insurance fund be established, thus follgwing a course similar to that adopted by large shipping companies,



136. The postage rates within the Con1momvealth are not uniform. The existing rates are : Victoria, 1 d. per i- oz. throughout the State (this uniform State rate was only introduced on the eve of Federation, and js esti­ mated to result in a loss, at the present time, of £:)0,000 per annum); :::;outh

Australia, 2d.per-! oz. throughout the State; N ew South Wnh·s, Queensland, 'Western Australia, and Tasmania, 1 d. per oz. in cities and towns, and 2d. per oz. for districts outside cities and towns. li'or letters between States :t uniform rate of 2d. per oz. is charged. 'VI1ile your Commissioners arc of . opinion that the postage rate within the States should be made uniform Un1o:imrate

at the rate of 1d. per oz., tl1cy cannot recommend its adoption until till' nee e · telegraph and telephone services are placed upon a self- supporting hasis.

137 .. The suggestion made by certain offi cials thnt it would he mon• prudent to increase the weight of letters from oz. to 1 oz., if carried out, would, in the opinion of your Commissioners, be the means of cheapening postal facilities to a section of the community , with no distinct ad

to the general public.

138. It was estimated about four years ago by fhe Accountant to tlw Central Executive that the introduction of a Commonwealth penny postnge would result in a loss of £:265,000 per annum. Your Commissiouer:-; consider that if penny postage were applied throughout the Commonwcaltl1 at the present time, a further loss of about £120,000 per annum would he incurred, amounting to a total loss of about £38!1,000 per mmum. The

universally-accepted view is that the revenue will decrease ou the introdue­ tion of r educed rates, but that the deficiency is more than made up in a tew years by the largely-increased volume of business resulting from reduced rates. This feature is strikingly borne out by the experience qf Victoria.

On the introduction of penny postage in that State th e ntnnber ofletters per capita posted within the State for places within the State was In the year 1904 the number had increased to 72 ·29. During the snme period in the other States the increase was:-New South Wales, from 46 to 55;

Queensland, 34 to 37; South Australia, 44 to D3; \Vestl'rn Australia (decrease), 46 to 43; and Tasmania, 33 to 36. Your Cmi1missicners consider that when the other services of the Department arc placed on a self­ supporting basis, and allowance is made for the increased business that will

accrue from the r·educed postage rates, the Commonwealth Government would bejustified in making this reduction.

139. Your Commissioners have been impressed with the enormous increase of mail matter handled by the Department. The following figures show the number of letters, postcards, packets, newspapers, and parcels handled during the years 1901 and 1908 :-

1901 1908




p ,Jstcd Inland for Delivery within the State.

_L_e_tt_ .e r_s __ an_d_P_o_st- ca _r_ds_ . -- . I __


1 05,28 7,011

31,827,198 61,130,647


P t;crease,

78,70R,l46 7 5,0-1.5,1:!89


1,112,700 2, (1 55,302



weight to 1 oz. no to

[ eneral pu bhc.

Commo• wealth penny postage.

growth of

postal business.








Letters and Postcards. Packets. Newspapers.

-·------ ------ -· --- -- ------- .

1901 ... 18,472,865 4;568,267 13,675,031 140,llS

1908 ... 29,1.33,5;)9 7,438,500 21,313,162 308,3.55


Increase ... 10,680,694


2,b70,233 7,638,131 168,237

Inter-State Received.



. .

Letters and P ostcards. Packets. Newspapers. Parcels.

.........._._., __ _..,...,........_,_ _ _ _

1901 18,514,915 3,711,875 13,686,449 I 141,318 ... 908 ... 35,613,480 9,141,727 22,051,985 301,966

ncr ease ... 17,098,565 5,4'29,652 8,365,536



. .



International Despatched.

Period, I

Letters aud Postcards. Packets. . Newspaper!!. P!trcelJ!,

1901 1908




- ···

4,945,046 10,6;H,050


Letters !tnd · Pol!tc.ards.

1,318,509 2,191,162


3,055,235 5,400,189

International Reooived.

Ps.cke.ts and Newspapers.

35,027 68,4915


Parcel!J .

.. -- --. -----------

1901 1908

5,681,795 13,699,090

10,159,009 1 ;;?,f569,66:9

Increase 8,017,295 2,410,660

TABLE 4 ..

Total number of articles ha ndled by Australia, 1901 Total number of articles handled by Australia, 1908

Increase (equal to 4 7 · 22 per cent.) ...



365,51! ,501 538,123,784


For detailed State Statistics, see Appendix VIII. to the Minutes of Evidence.

Oversea Postage.

140. The postage rate is 2d. per to the United Kingdom

British Possessions ; per oz. to foreign countries. The rate to United Kingdom is four times as much as from the United Kingdom to Australia., and twi<'-.e as much as from other countries in the Postal Unjon, with the exception of Japan.

. 141. In view of the loss sustained by the Department on its oversea service (which has recently been increased by the payment of higher subventions) irrespective of the cost of handling this mail matter, your Commissioners cannot an immediate reduction of rates to

British and foreign countries. But ·if the finances of the several branehcs were placed upon a self-supporting basis consideration could be given to the question of reducing these rates.


142. On 1st November, 1902, the Commonwealth rate on newspapers Rates. posted in bulk was fi:x:ed at ld. per 20 ozs. Previous to that date the rates charged in the States were as follows :-New South Wales

Victoria Queensland ... South Australia Western Australia Tasmania ...

Newspapers posted within seven day11 of publication for delivery within the State outside the metropolitan area, free. ld. for 16 ozs.

ld. for 16 ozs . ... · 1d. for 16 ozs.

1d. for 16 ozs. Free within the State, ld. for 16 ozs. Inter-State.

143. Estimated gains and losses resulting from the introduction of the Gains and Iouea Commonwealth rate on newspapers posted in bulk were obtained, showing on newspapera. that the net gain to the Department, exclusive of Western Australia, for which the figures ·were not available, from 1st November, 1902, to 31st

December, 1907, amounted to about £38,000, up as follows:-New South Wales-Gain £61,615 Tasmania-Gain 2, 14:6


Victoria-Loss Queensland-Loss South Australia Western Australia-Not


£.16,357 . 6,173 3,330


144. The actual cost to the Department of the transmission of this No alteration mail matter was not available, but the general trend of evidence from proposed. responsible officials in the various States showed that considerable losses were made in .this branch of postal work. As newspapers may be con-

sidered of importance in the dissemination of information to the public, your Commissioners are not prepared to recommend ttn alteration of the conces-sion rates on newspapers posted in bulk.

. 145. Under the present regulations governing the postage on newspapers the country press is placed at a great disadvantage, as the newspapers are often posted singly and cannot be posted at travelling post­ offices unless bearing a stamp. To facilitate the despatch of these newspapers,

and to afford some relief to the country press, your Commissioners recommend that the Department should supply stamped wrappers on the estimated weight of the newspapers they are intended to envelop.

146. Under the provision for bulk postage the Department is subjected Bulk postage of to a considerable amount of imposition, whereby merely trade notifications and ephemeral electioneering publications are enabled to get the benefit of cheap postal rates intended only for legitimate newspapers, thus involving circulars.

the Department in great expense, particularly by overloading the country mail services. The Regulations, if strictly interpreted, would obviate the possibility of such imposition. Such publications should be charged packet rates, which is a fair rate for the service rendered.


Payment of bulk

an:l expmsive system.

Ex:t ·nsion of parcel,

Parcel post



147. The practice IS for bulk postao-e to be paid in stamps affixed to dockets and cancelled. The evidence this point is strongly in fa:vour of such postage being paid in cash. Yom Commissioners recommend that payment of bulk postage by stamp be abolished, thus obviating the

present circumlocutory and expensive system.

l' AIWEL PosT.

148. The parcel post section of the Department's services fulfils a function which exceeds the boundaries of what is generally accepted as legitimate postal business, and comes more definitely witl1in the range of carriers' work. Recognising the peculiar and distinct conditions ·obtaining in the Commonwealth, and the great facilities afforded by the parcel post, particularly to those inhabitants residing in the remote parts of Australia, your Commissioners consider that it is to the general interest of tiJc, community to recommend not the restriction of these facilities, but their further exten­ sion in outlying districts. There are some districts in Queensland nud

\Vestern Australia where the postal service is the only means of obtaining supplies.

149. From the general trend of the evidence, your Commissioners have come to the conclusion that under existing conditions and present rates the parcel post is approximately a paying proposition. In some States the parcel post apparently produces considerable profit, notably in Victoria, where the excess of revenue over expenditure amounted approximately to £11,000 in the year 1907, while in New South Wares a similar excess of slightly over £1,500 was shown for the same year. In South Australia an excess of £270 was shown, and in Queensland £!1,400; but in this latter estimate Customs duties to the amount of .£10,.500 are included, which should not be credited as postal revenue. Beyond a general statement by the Deputy Postmaster-General that the parcel post branch in

\Vestern Australia is the best paying branch of the senrice in that

State, no return has been furnished. In Tasmania, according to a

return furnished, there is a debit of £1,400 for the year 1907, although the Veputy Postmaster-General, in his evidence, considered that the parcel post paid.

Amalgamation to s ).Ve expense. 150. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the parcel post and packet post should be amalgamated, as by such an arrangement economical

management would result. More definite advice will be given on this matter under Organization."

Neglect to cater for suburh:m businesJ.

Parcel post in la1·ge c;:ities.

151. A recommendation cannot be made, either in the direction of approving of the present rates or their alteration, because definite financial information is not procurable.

152. A payable of the parcel post is overlooked by neglecting· to cater for suburban business by fixing suitable rates. This is a feattu:O of the traffic for which special provision should be made, as a very profitable source of revenue remains uriexploited by the Department. The Post and Telegraph Department entering into the trade of carrying is not :m innovation, as in some countries considerable attention is paid to this class of work. One striking instance is that of Manchester,

England, where the Post Office carries on a large parcel business, and competes with railway eompanies. The utilization of the various tramway and ferrv services in the Comnwnwealth in connexion with suburban parcel business should be considered by the Department. Evidence was given that in Switzerland the parcel post system had been developed to a remarkable extent. After earefuiJy reviewing the parcel post branch in its Commonwealth bearing, your Commissioners consider that there is ample scope for such services to be made remunerative when confined to tho transport qf articles of reasonable portability.

, ' .,

lnsurance of Parcels. •

153. 1n the insurance of parcels ail anomaly exists which pet'tllits lnstlring pa·eet.. insurance on all parcels sent to foreign countries, but not within tla• Comnion wealth or to N.ew Zealand. Your Commissioners recommend that the Department sh9uld insure parcels containing valuable artieles sent

to any part of the Commonwealth, and should make arrangenwnts to extend the principle to New Zealand.

Value Payable Parcel Post.

154. The representative of the Storekeepers' Association of New South Wales desired the abolition of this service, on the grountl thnt the city retailer is thereby provided with unreasonable facilities as against the country trader. Your Commissioners are unable to accept this view.

The value payable parcel post is most largely availed of in tl1c Statl'S of Importance ot Queensland and VYT estern Australia, owing to the nature of tlw

population, and the great distances from commercial eentres. This traffi(' is asserted not only to be growing· in those States, but to be protitahlt· to the Depa.rtment. In the States of New South ·wales, Victoria, and South Australia the value payable parcel post is not much availed of, 011

account of the high rates impm:ed and the proximity of the grPatt>J' pnrt of. the population to large provineial towns. Complaints were matle that the present rates were too high, and it was requested tl1at the

registration fee of 3d. be abolished. Your Commissioners are not prepared Reduclion of to recommend a reduction of the charges.


155. Under the present conditions stamps of different design arc printed for each State, and the stamps of any particular State are only usable within that State. Your Commissioners reeommend that this be disconnnued, and that a uuiform Commonwealth issue should Be!lefit of

be printed as early as possible. '1 his would be of considerable advautag(• uniform stamp. to the travelling public and the commercial community. By the issue of such a Commonwealth stamp it is estimated that a saving of about £1,000 per annum would be effected in printing the ld., and denominations.

At the present time stamps for four States, viz., Victoria, South Australin, Western Australia, and Tasmania are printed in Melbourne, while New South Wales and Queep.sland print the stamps locnlly. The printing of stamps, postal nolts, money orders, and post cards could be more economi-

cally executed at a common centre. This should not retard the immediate introduction af a Commonwealth stamp.


156. The objection was raised that the interchangeability of Stnte stamps would inflict a financial loss on individual States. Your

Commissioners are of the opinion that the loss, if any, would be infinitesimal.

No from

interchange­ ability of stamps

Automatic Stamping Ma chines.

157. While. dealing with the matter of postage stamp printing, your Commissioners consider that automatic ,stamping machines, as now in general use in New Zealand, where tliey have proved both safe and economical, could be introduced into the Commonwealth with cwsiderable

advantage. In addition to the employment of these machines by mer­ cantile houses and Government Departments eaeh important post-office shotild be similarly equipped. Automatic stamping machines, Automatic for telegmms and postage, would be of considerable service to

the public, and would afford to the Department the protection of a cash register. ·

Concessions to large firms.

RecomunnJ.a. .. tion.


• Stamp Commission .

158. Licensed vendors of stamps receive a commission of per cent., limited to 30s. per week. Evidence was received that the Depart­ ment does not exercise sufficient discrimination in the granting of stamp licences, and that licences have been obtained in the interests of large firms, and not of the general public. The granting of licences to these large firms practically amounts to a discount on their stamp purchases, In many instances firms adjacent to post-offices hold licences for the sale of stamps, which is a deflection of postal revenue. Your Commissioners recommend that the granting of stamp licences should be strictly guided by the principle that they are solely for the purpose of providing facilities for the general public to purchase stamps. The large amount of revenue that is lost iu commission on the sale of stamps can be 1·eaJized when it is stated that in New South \Vales a sum slightly over £51000 a year is now paid in commission.

Payment rif Postage by Commanwealtll and Stale Government Departments.

159. The practice in conne.xion with the payment of postage by Government Departments of affixing O.S. stamps causes unnecessary work, and involves considerable bookkeeping by those Departments. Fot· instance, the Secretary to the Home Affairs Department stated in evidence that the stamping of letters and recording postage costs that Department from £600 to £700 a year. Your Commissioners recommend that the Government Departments should make use of automatic stamping machines wherever advisable. ·


160 .. The following table shows the rates when the Department was under State control :-I. Suburban Telegrams (address and signature

New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, { Western Australia, Tasmania ...

1fictoria {

First ten words-6d. Each additional word-Id.

First nine Each additional word-ld.

2. Inlan'd T elegrams, other than Snbnrban (address and signature free)-New South Wales, Queensland, S outh Australia, { \Vestern Australia, Tasmania. ... First ten words-Is.

Each additional wonl-IJ.

· Victoria { First nine words-9d.

Each additional word-ld.

3. Inter-State Telegrams (address and signature free)-New South Wales to Victoria or Queensland and { vice ver sEt ...

New South Wales, or Victoria, or Western Australia to South Australia and vice versa Victoria to Tasmania and vice versa

Victoria to Queensland and vice versa

New South Wales to Tasmania and vice versa

New South Wales or Victoria to Western Australia and vice versa ...

Queensl11nd to South Australia and vice versa South Australia to Tasmania and vice versa

Queensland to Western Australia or Tasmania and vice versa ... .... ... ...

Western Australia to Tasmania and vice versa







First ten Each additional

First ten words-2s. Each additional word-2tl.

First ten .word s-2s. Each additional word-3d.

First ten 6d.

Each additional

First ten words-3s. Each additional word-3d.

First ten Each additional word-oid.

- ----

. 161. 'rhe following table shows the present tates under Conttnoll· \vealth'control- • Within each State-Within 15 mile radius First 16 words, 6d.; and each

additional word. ld.



First 16 words, 9d.; aud each additional word, ld.

_First 16 words, ls.; and 1 d. each additional word.

162. Inquiry into this question has convinced your Commissioners that the reduction of telegraph rates made by Parliament in 1S02 was too drastic, and proper consideration was not given to the financial effect of such reduced rates. The evidence obtained is that there is a considerable loss uudcr

present rates, and that it is impossible to overtake the shortage hy

increased business unless the ra:tes be increased-. Some leading officials contended that the removal of concessions as to rates would be a retrogressive policy.

163. When the enormous distances in Australia are taken into con­ sideration, together with the great expense involved in the construction and maintenance uf telegraph lines, it is clear that, by comparison with the rates cha1·ged in other countries, the rates in the Commonwealth are

too This branch of the Department should, in the opinion of your

Commissioners, be made self-supporting. The following table shows the rates charged in other countries :-


Great Britain ... ..• 6J. for 10 wot'ds, and each additional word.

Minimunt CkMge.

France 10 words, 5d.

Germany 12 words, od.

Austria 12 words, 6d.

Italy 15 words, lOd. . .

Switz-erland ..• 2 W-ortls, 3d. ; and id. per additional word.

India 16 words, ls. 4d.; and .2d. per additional word.

Cape Colony ld. per word; minimum charge, Is.

;Natal ld. per word; minimum charge, ls.

Orange Rivet Colnny . 12 words, ls. ; and l cl. per additional word. · {10 words, lS. ; and ld. per additional word. lO words, ls. 8d.; and per additiQnal word, U ni te.d States o. f America .. 10 worrls, 2s. ; .a. nd l ¥1· per 1Hldi .. a. I. w_orc.l. (pnvate control) .. . 10 words, 2s. 6d.; and 2d. per add1twnal word. 10 wurds, 3s. hi. ; and per additi6nal word. 10 words, 4s. ld. ; and per additiGlltil wQI'd. The American charges are based on a zone system, the approximate distances applicnble to the above rates ranging I.rom 500 to ol'er 4,000 miles. Address and signature are sent free. · Canada ... Same rates -as in Unit-ed States of Ame-riea. 164. When it is recognised that most of the Australian States are larger territorially than the countries mentioned, with the exception of lndia, Cattada, and the Unit-ed States of America, it is apparent that the construction and maintenance of the telegraph lines in Australia he ttrore costly. Several witnesses contended that the zone system should be established. Your Gommissioners, while appreciating the benefits .of a eystem in countries, consider th:tt under tb-e excepbon?tl conditi·on-s existing in Australia the application of the zone would resul;t in the larger States receiving inequitable treatment, 'and w.ould certainty be most confusing to the general public. From a bu-suress stand-point there is much to recommend the zone system.


Reductions too drastic.

Branch should be aelf-auppor ting.

Zone system not favoured.


Want of accurate financial advice. i65-68. Beyond a statement that t11is service is being

conducted at n loss, reliable financial advice ·was not obtainable upon which to definitely fix the telegraphic rates to place the senice on a paying basis. ·In tlteir· efforts to a basis to guide them in this

vour Commissioners enlled for a mnnher of returns, but on a close analysiS these returns tltev were uuable to obtain sufficient data upon which to

hase a sound equitable schedule of rates, wltich difficulty is made apparent hy reference to Appendix 10 to the Minutes rif Evidence.

ImP.OJsible to fix equitable rat£s.

167. Your Commissioners consider that the present telegraphic rates arc too low. The concensus of opinion expressed by the offit.:ials was that to place this branch of the Department's services on a self-supportjng basis would necessitate an increase of the present rates by 40 or 50 per It

would be fi1tilc to attempt to fix the mtes evf'n roughly upon an basis. The rates coulJ only be approximately determined by calculatmg· the cnpital cost involved in the constntction of telegraph lines, and debiting the proper cnarges thereon, together with working expenses and maintenance. Owing to the general confusion existing in. the Depart­ ment as to the financial position of the services, the requis1te data were


Drastie reductions without proper consideration

168. Your Commissioners cannot too emphatic,1I1y express their condemnation of the Government's action in sanctioning such drastic reductions in the telegraph rates without previously investigating the financial position of the services, and ascertaining the exact condition of aftiirs for the purpose of advising Parliament.

169. Your Commissioners are, however, enabled to express definite opinions on the general bearing and application of the telegraph rates, especially (a) in connexion with charges made for additional words beyond the statutory number; (b) the treatment, consideration, and charges for urgent telegrams ; (c) code and cipher messages and their abuses; (d) cable service ; and (e) P!ess messages.

170. The present system of charging a minimum rate for messages of sixteen words (including address and signature), and one penny for each additional word, is anomalous, because the first sixteen words of a message are charged a less rate per word than the succeeding wordS. Under this system it is apparent that the sender of lengthy messages is unfairly Oppo3ed to taxed, which is opposed to business methods, and conveys the idea that a busiuess methods. toll is imposed. The following illustrations demonstrate the inequitable

incidence of the scale of charges. State messages within a I5 mile radius of a telegraph office, containing I6 words (inclusive of address and signature) are charged 6d., and each additional . word 1d. Therefore a message of 32 words costs Is. IOd., nearly four times as much as one of I6 words. In State 9d. messages the second 16 words cost ls. 4d., almost twice as much as the first 16 words. Inter-State Is. messages, second I6 words cost Is. 4d., or an increase of 33! per cent. on the first

I6 words.

Telegraphic charges anomalous.

1 71. Beyond mere simplicity of calculation for the Department there . appears to be nothing to warrant the continuance of this practice. The only reason your Commissioners can assign for the Department's adherence to this system of charges is that in the first portion of a message

there is a concession to the senders, and that the high charge proportion­ ately for each additional word is intended to recoup the Department. lf additional words were charged for at a slightly lower rate than the first Sixteen words, it would make for increased traffic, and would establish·fairer

conditions .

.. ··-- ···· ·· - ··

r------- 49


' , ' '

17 2. In regard to urgent 111essages, it was discovered that there is a growing tendency to despatch ordinary messages as urgL·nt by payment of double rates. This is to secure expedition. The irwn·ase of this· practice is evidently Cftused by the congestion of traffic, wlrieh

arises from insufficiency of staff, insufficiency of lines, and tlw muhu· ttse of the condenser telephone system on telegraph circuits. Tlw main effect of the use of urgent messages is that the pul)1ic by paying douhl" rates for ordinary messages are compelled to bear an impost in their· nttPnrpt

to obtain expedition, which should be the first essential of au dlici(•nt telegraphic service. . The lioes should he placed in such good workin.!!." condition as to iusure expeditious service without the public lw ring to resort to urgent messages.

Tendency to send urgent meaugea.

17 3. Code and cipher messages are apparently useJ fol' the 111ain purpose of obtaining a cheaper telegraphic service, as messages cnu he lSl'llt hy means of a code up to twenty times as cheap as in ordinary languagP. The evidence of telegraphists is that code messages cause slower work, and

increased liability to enor, and that this is intensified by the ciplrer Consequently the transaction of this clnss of business is more l'X p<·nsi n· than the handling of the ordinary traffic. The use of code a·rHI ('ipiJ(•r messages is rapidly growing, as is indicated by the fact that the business transacted by code and cipher systems in New South Wn )ps is

computed to amount to about 20 per cent, of the total Inter-State tratHc of that State. To prevent the users of code and cipher messages obtaining an undue advantage over the general public in regard to the telegraph mt(•s, your Commissioners recornmend that code and cipher messages should he

charged considerably increased rates, and that the number of lettt·rs constituting code and cipher words be reduced.

Payment nf Telegmrns.

Code measagc11 rause slower work.


1 74. The question of payment of telegrams by means of adhesive stamps or by cash as formerly was responsible for a considerable amount of con:Bicting evidence, some witnesses affirming that the stamping system for the safety of the revenue, and involved less la hour. It

appears that the practice of stamping is the policy of India n.nd Great Britain, while the cash system obtains in France and Germany. The bulk of the evidence favoured the cash system, and your Commissioners Bulk of evidence adhere to the opinion advanced by the Auditor-General, who approved of cash

the return to the cash system on the grounds that the stamping system wns liable to cause errors, and involved extra expense and extra work in checking. Frauds in connexion with the st;1mping system have occurred. and there is a danger ofthe continuance of such frauds. The estimated cost

of checking the stamps on telegrams by the system now prevailiug amounted to about £2,600 per annum. Your Commissioners consider a return to the cash system would make for the convenience of the general public, nnd therefore recommend the abolition of the stamping system. Abo .itiou of

stamp recommended.

Injustice of present Cable Conditions.

17 5. existing cable conditions as applied to Australia cannot be too forcibly condemned. The cable service is supplied to ...-\ ustralia by two distinct bodies, namely, the Pacific Cable Board and the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company. The Eastern Extension Telegraph

Company is a purely mercantile concern, buttressed by a contract, originally ?mwn between several States Governments, which permits the res<'ind­ mg of the agreement by mutual consent. This aO"reement was entered into shortly prior to the inception of the Commonwe::5th. The exceptional

character of this agreement gives to the Eastern Extension Telegraph Com­ pany a controlling power over cable rates, and allows it ·to hold the key to the position. F.8564. D

Eastern Extension Company's contract.

Controlling power over ca. ble rates.

Energetic canvassing.

No through counexion.

Existence of monopoly.

N aticnalization.

C'oser ac , uainiance ,., ith outside world.


176. The evidence demonstrates tha t the Eastern Extension. Tele­ graph Company by the adoption of a more system of ca:nvassing

attracts the larger volume of cable business. The Eastern ExtensiOn Tele­ O'raph Company captures from three aud a half to four words to the Pacific

Cable Board's one of public business. The following table shows that the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company transacts about 80 per cent. of the transmitted business (ordinary and press) of the Common wealth :­ STATEMEN T lilh owing the number of Outward Messages from Australia to the United Kingdom

Ol'er th e Pacific and !!:astern Extension T elegraph Company's cables resp ectively during th e year 1 90i

- New South Victoria. ·Queens· South Western IT . Total. WaleH land. Australia. Australia. a.smama. ·-- -------------

Via Pacific-Ordinary ... 8,260 4,801 4,510 310 719 463 19,063

Press .. . 325 392 131 156 2 ... 1,006

Via EasLern-Ordinary .. . 40,488 18,296 548 8,467 8,201 1,189 77,189

Press .. . 554 464 3 135 77 ... 1,233

1 7 7. The position in regard to the Pacific Cable Board is that the Common wealth's proportion of loss is about £4,700 a year. The total losses are guaranteed by Great Britain and Canada to the extent of five­ ninths, New Zealand one-ninth, Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales one-ninth each.

1 7 8. It was contended by r epresentative commercial men that the reason why the Pacifi c ( able was not more availed of was that the service has no through connexion across the Atlantic, althoug h as a set-off it is contended that the Facific Cable Board controls the American traffic. As demonst rating the evil effects of the close control of cable traffic to-day, it was alleged that only two cables are employed by the cable syndicate across the :\ tlantic, while eleven are lying idle, presumably with the object of destroying competition.

179. As regards press cables, it was disclosed that as far as outward business was concerned the two services were used as follows :-Via Pacific, about 1,000 messages per annum ; via Eastern, 1,230 messages per annum. The inward press cable business was confined to tqe Eastern Extension Company, all messages being addressed to Adelaide, and distributed from that office, amounting to about 2,600 messages per annum.

180. The cable r ates are- Ordinary, 3s. ; Government, ls. 7 !d.; and Press, Is. per word.

181. In reviewiug the general position your Commissioners are of the opinion that the pre.sent condition of the cable service is most

unsatisfactory , and constitutes a monopoly for the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company. Under existing conditions the All Red Route proposal is frustrated. ·

182. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the cable service should be nationalized, and, consequently, co.ntrolled by the Goverument. This matter is somewhat outside the scope of this inquiry as affecting the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Department's services, but such an important auxiliary to the telegraphic service could not be allowed to pass without comment, particularly as it affects Australia's relations with the outside world.

183. The necessity to cultivate closer acquaintance with the outside world, as well as the wisdom of acquainting the outside world of Australian affairs, should, in the near future, compel the Commonwealth Government to introduce considerably reduced rates by the construction of alternative routes, or the resumption of the Australian rights of the Eastern Extension

Telegraph Company. .

/ 51



184:. It is obvious that, as ordinary messages are not .payable, the press rates, which are ls. 6d. for the first 100 words, and 60.. for t•ach

additional 100 words, involve c.onsiderable loss to the Department. This concession to the press may be reg·arded as a facility for the dissemination of information to the public. The continuance of these lo\"

rigid adherence to the principle of ordinar.y messages taking precedence of press messages, but there should be a suffieiency of lines to prcvt•nt congestion, either by ordinary or press business.


press juatified.


185. During the course of this inquiry the most exhaustive infonuatiou was obtained in regard to the telephone service. In addition to a close examination and personal investigation of the conditions of the variou:-: State services your Commissioners examined the telephone service in its financial bearing, both from the subscribers' and the Department'"


186. The telephone service of most of the States of the Commonwealth was discovered to be in an unsatisfactory condition in the earlier stages of the inquiry, and the subsequent improvements made have been fully to in this Report under the sub-section of Finance, entitled " The condition

of the services."

18 7. This section of the Report will be to the telephone

rates and char,ges imposed upon the public during the period of Federation. The evidence disclosed considerable confusion as to the basis of the charges Confusion aa to to be adopted. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the present rates. charges are grossly inequitable to certain sections of the public.

188. It is deemed advisable to furnish an epitome depicting the chaotic condition of affairs, which was the result of fixing a new

scale of rates without proper consideration, and the neglect to establish facilities to meet the demand of the public for telephone services. Prior to February, 1907, the telephone service was supplied to

subscribers at a fixed sum per annum under the flat rate system,

irr2spective of the amount of service rendered. Subscribers (business or domestic) who used the telephone a few times only paid as much as subscribers who were almost continuously using the service. The flat rate system is open to abuse by allowing this class of subscribers to grant the

use of their telephones to non-subscribers without payment. The Depart­ ment, apparently seized with the injustice of this inequitable condition of affairs, and desirous of affording telephone facilities to a larger section of the community, introduced at the instance of the then Postmaster-General a system of a compound character, partly a flat and partly a measured rate Compou.nd afeatem

system, which experience has demonstrated to the fullest to have inflicted not equitab e. financial loss on the- Department, and which has not been relatively equitable to each section of subscribers.

189. The rates dP.termined upon were too low, :mel were fixed in opposition to the declared opinions of the Permanent Head and the Chief Electrical Engineer, who were the expert advisers to the }Iinister . .

1 90. From the evidence, your Commissioners are forced to conclude that these rates were established without full consideration of the ultimate result, and a total disregard of the experience of other countries. Further, prior to the introduction of the new system care was not taken to see

whether the Department ;vas sufficiently prepared with material, instru­ ments, and staff to meet the development that would naturally occur. In addition to cheapening the service without proper consideration, a further D:l.

Rates estahliahed without full consideration.

Expense increased.

Monopolising effect of flat rate system.

£300 worth of service obtained.


waR placed upon this branch of the Department eleven months

afterwards (January, 190t; ) by the extension of the radius from 1 tnile to 2 miles, an action which your Commissioners consider was unwarranted, and ·which c0nsiderably increased the expense to the Department without increasing the tevenue.

191. Another feature of the system introduced in 1907 which is of considerable importance, and which has great bearing on the

difficulties of the Department, was that it permitted the existing subscribers to continue on the purely flat rate system, or to transfer to what has been described as the compound system.

192. Illustmtions showing the monopolistic nature of the flat rate system were supplied by several leading officials, who stated that flat rate subscribers pay only about 7d . a day, while many of them use their

telephones a hundred times a day. Certain mercantilefirms and tradesmen are said to use their telephones as much as one hundL"ed and thirty times !1 day. It is obvious that the of this practice is a great disadvantage

to the average subscriber in two ways, ( 1) the congestion of the service, therehy militating against efficient service to other subscribers, (2) the extensive user contributes no more to the revenue than does the casual user. Some subscribers are said bv the officials to have admitted that they obtained from £100 to £300 annum in value from tile telephonic

193. Your Commissioners have not solely relied on evidence relating to Australian conditions1 but have obtained documentary inforiilation frorri other countries: showing that complaints, such as the overloading of the switch boards during certain hours of the day by an ·excessive number of ca1ls, and the too long occ'upation of the wires by a particular subscriber, causing disabilities to be imposed on other subscribers, and additional work on the telephone attendants, are common wherever the fla( rate system prevails.

Flat rate inequitable to small subscribers.

. 1 94. Your Connnissiotiers are decidedly of opinion that it is inequitable to make the general subscriber, such as the SI1:lll1l shopkeeper, the small m:mtlf.'lcturer, and the domestic user: pny a higher rate than he should, for the benefit of the htrger business firms who make almost continuous nse of the telephonic service. Further, the flat rate system is manifestly unfair to the Department, providing, as it does, an unlimited service at a limited charge. Your Commissioners recommend the total abolition of the flat rate system. Recommendation.

Purchase system to be abolished.


Purely measund service advocated.

195. A still more glaring case of injnstic'e exists in New South \Vales, where about 580 subscribers are on a flat rate "purchase " system, and receive an unlimited service for £5 a year. This absurdly insufficient charge of 4d. a day permits of connexion with a. network supplying a service to 16,000 subscribers. This purchase system is a remnant of. the early days of telephone management in i\ ew South Wales. It enabled the fiubsctibers to purchase the instruments and installation, while being subject to fi charge of only £5 a year. Your Commissioners recommend the immediate abolition of the purchase system.

196. The compound flat and measured service system with 1,000 free calls half-yearly, apparently inaugumted for the purpose of affording equitable treatment to the small user, has failed to effect that purpose. .

19 7. Your Commissioners, recognising that the present system is inequitable to the general subscriber, and an increasing financial burden to the Department, recommend, in addition to the abolition of the flat rate, the abolition of the free call system, because it is practically an extension of

the flat rate system up to the limit of 2,000 calls annually. In view of these facts, it is imperative in the best interests of the public and of the Department to introduce a purely measured rate system, accompanied by an effective system of recording calls.



198. Your Commissioners consider that the Telephone Bmnch of tlw Department should he regarded strictly as a self-supporting eoncet·n, an

subscribers will pay for services rendered.

19 9. It was contended that, prior to charges being impospd f(>r services rendered,_ the telephonic service should be established on up-to-date lines. The Departmeut has recently, to so111c extl·nt,

rehabilitated the telephone plant, and further improvements being· made. In the opinion of your Commissioners such rehabilitation has been hastened by the disclosures of this investigation, but tl1ere is stilln considerable amount of reconstruction to be accomplished before tlw Sl'l'Vi<·<· can be placed on a thoroughly satisfactory basis, as outlined in parngmph

127. But the improvements made, and the tendency to the further mpid improvement of the telephone plant, when associated with the aholitiou of the flat rate system, and the application of the improved seale of

charges, as recommended la.ter in this Report, will facilitate tlH· spe<·tly attainment of an efficient service.

200. A peculiar feature of the tdephone business was made evidt•nt which appears paradoxical to the ordinary conm1e2·cial mind, ua.mely, that the larger a telephone exchange becomes the more costly it is to hand!<· per unit. That is, an increased number of subscribers necessitates a lnrg(•r

network, which increases the costliness of the system, and the inerensl•cl trade resulting from additional subscribers does not resuit in a decreased cost per unit. This phase of the subject is of the utmost importance in fixing a scale of rates equitable both to the subscribers and the Department.

It is obvious that a telephonic service with a large number of is of greater value to each subscriber than a service with a small num\)('r of subscribers. This is illustrated by comparing two networks of 5,000

a.,nd 10,000 subscribers respectively. The cost of connecting nnd the working expeni'es per subscriber would be greater in tbe latter t!Jan in the former network. In view of this fact it is necessarv to base the rates

on the size of the network.

201. Hepresentatives of commercial firms and public bodies admitted that. in their opinion, the charges made for telephone services were too low, and expressed a willingness to meet increased charges, subject to an efficient service being supplied by the Department.

202. Your Commissioners experi enced considerable difficulty in framing a scale of cq uitable charges. A number of offi cials were

unable to supply accurately the information sought, namely, the capital cost, and the full debit of the proper charges fur interest, depreciation, and working expenses, and they suggested investigation by competent accountants to ascertain this information. This has since been partly done

by a Committee of Accountants, who were specially appointed for that purpose, and who have furnished a report dealing with the Victorian section only of the telephone service. This Com.mittee came to the conclusion that the capital value invested in the metropolitan network of ;\Jelbourne is about

£3S5,0011, making the average cost per subscriber approximat ely £31. This valuation is apparently based on the eapital value of the transferred properties, plus subsequent expenditure. But this network is in a deplorable condition, necessitating further expenditure on a new switchboard, conduits,

metallic circuits, &c., amounting to ov er £200,000, representing a cost, together with the £3l mentioned above. of approximately £5() per sub­ scriber. This estimate appears to be excessive, and is owing probably to the sadlv necr]ected co ndition of the whole of the t elephone

system in network of Melbourne. Yo .tr CommissioiiCl'S

Objections di'Spoaed or.


Efficient service possible.

The greater the numbAr or anbacribera the greater the COlt·

RepreaentativJI puolic bodies admit charges are too low,

Report of of Accoun tan ta.

Network in a dep1orable condition.

Ascertaining capital cost.

Equitable determination of capital coat.

Estimate cost per line, £39

Estimate of cost in foreign countries.

Basis of estimating c , st.

More stability in telephony than formerly.



endeavoured to ascertain the original capital cost for the Commonwealth, but were unable to do so on account of an accurate record not being

kept. This prevents them from definitely ascertaining the amount of capital that has been invested in making provision for telephone ·services.

203. In view of the telephone services being now in process of

rehabilitation in all the large cities of the Commonwealth by the installation of new switchboards, conduits, and metallic circi1its, your Commissioners are of the opinion that the only equitable method of determining the capital cost is to accept as the basis the actuai cost under the new system.

The estimate of the Chief Electrical Engiueer and the State electrical engineers fixes the average cost of connecting a subscriber with the tele­ phone networks of the large centres in Australia under the new common hatterv svstem at about £39. This minimum estimate is based on the condit.ion; existing in Australia, but it is corroborated by the conditions obtaining in other parts of the world. That the estimate is excessive

mav he seen from the fact tha.t the cost of the London service m 1904 was £73 per subscriber, including spare plant, which cost had fallen to £50 in J ; in Pnris the cost per subscriber was found to be £4 7 ; in Vienna,

£.10 ; in Brussels, £82 ; and in Stockholm, £2'2. It was stated that

American experts estimate the cost at from ,£25 to £50 per subscriber, according to local conditions and the size of the network.

204. Your Commissioners have decided to base their calculations in regard to the fixing of equitable rates upon the estimated average cost of connecting a subscriber at the present time. The actual capital cost would necessarily vary considerably with individual subscribers, but an average must he struck for practical working. The initial cost for the new system, including spares, would for a few years exceed the amount of but the deduction drawn from the evidence of the technical experts is that the amount of £3H will he the approximate capital cost per subscriber when the new system has been fully developed. This estimate errs distinctly on

the side of liberality as far as the general public is concerned.

20n. Having accepted J39 as the approximate capital cost, your Commissioners consider that the proper rates chargeable for telephone services should be determined upon the following basis :-Interest on capital eost, 31 per cent.; depreciation (reconstruction based on a life of twenty years), 5 per eent.; ordinary maintenance and operating charges, £4 12s. 6d. per annum. r n regard to the low fixed for depreciation, your

Commis5ioners are aware that modern estimates of telephone companies assume that 8 per cent is requi1•ed for that purpose to provide for frequent changes of plant f01· an up-to-date service. Your Commissioners have accepted the lower rate of 5 per cmt. because they desire to provide for the public a service on a self-supporting . basis, not for profit, and because there is now more stnbility in telephony than formerly.

206. Ordinary maintenance and operating charges cover salaries of the administrative and fitting staff, and ordinary repairs as distinct from renewals. The amount of £4 12s. 6d. quoted as necessary to meet these charges is bnsed on the actual working cost of the Sydney and Melbourne telephone networks for the year When common battery switchboards have been installed, and the meaS\·lred service system is in general operation, probably a reduction can he made in these charges.

20 7. The following tahle sets out the annual average cost based upon the conditions alread v described :- ., A cost £39 0 0

Interest at. cent. £1 7 3

Depreciation and reconstruction, at 5 per cent. ... I 19 0

Ordinary maintenance and cost of operating ... 4 12 6

Total annual avera::-e cost ... 7 18 9


In this estimate it is assumed that construction will be financed out of revenue, in which case there will be no necessity to provide a sinking fuml. Should, however, the capital account be obtained from loan funds, a further charge of per cent. for sinking fund, based on life of twenty year:-;, will

have to be made. . ·


208. With the object of establishing the service on a self-supporting basis, your Commissioners recommend the fixing of such ratefo ns will Rate to returu return approximately an average revenue per subscriber of about £H per £7 18a. 9d annum in large networks. The adoption of the_ scale proposed, witlt

proportionate reduction in rental for party line services and for stnall<·r networks, wi11 provide for equitable to all subscribers.

209. For the purpose of estimating the necessary revenue required to cover expenses, your Commissioners have ascertained the average numher oi' calls per subscriber per day in the Commonwealth. It was found that in the United States· of America, where the measured service s\·stl•JH prevails, the average number of calls per subscriber . is six per. day,

while in Australia, as ascertained from returns furnished, the averngt· Average calla number of calls is higher. This is occasioned, according to the eviden<·e, per day ill h Australia. by t e excessive and alleged inordinate use of the telephone by the fiat· subscribers.

The following table shows the average number of calls per telephone subscriber per day :-


Average Number of Calls per Day.

. I Measured Rate Subscribers. Flat Rate Subscribers. Metropolitan. Country. Remarks.

New South Wales Victoria

Queensland South Australia Western Australia


17 15

U·6 14•4 13·1


6 to 7


3 to 4

·96 to 2·7 Figures re measured service sub­ scr-ibers taken from n re<:ord kept fox 92 days, November, 1908, to January, 1909.

7.8 3·5

5.75 1·68


a•s I J·5

(Hobart and L aunceston) I

These figures are for the whole of the State for the year 1908.

210. Your Commissioners are of the opmwn that if the measured service system as recommended iR applied to all subscribers the averagP calls per subscriber will unquestionably decrease, and will probably amount to about six per day.

211. Your Commissioners recommend the adoption of the following oommiuionera' rates, which are fixed upon a minimum of cost, and afford most liberal charges for call". treatment to the subscribers, and which will produce a return slightly in excess of the minimum revenue necessary to cover expenditure, viz, annual

rental of £3 5s. per annum, based upon interest on capital cost and deprecia-tion charges :-Calls at the rate of .Ss. per 100 for the first 500 calls ; 4s. per 100 for the next 1,000 calls ; and 3s. per 100 for all calls over 1,.)00 half-year. rJerewith your Commissioners submit a schedule showing the cost

under (a) the present system, (b) suggested departmental system, and (c) the proposed system of your Commissioners, which schedule covers all classes of


subscribers. In the scheme recommended, should it be decided to construct the works out of loan money instead of out of revenue, it will be essential, to meet the demands of sound finance, to add to the rental charge an extra sum of about 25s. per annum:-


(For towns of 100,000 and upwards.)

S c HEDULE showing comparison between (a) Present Measured Service Rates; (b) Rates

proposed to be introduced by the Department ; and (c) Rates recommended by your Commissioners.

No. o! Ca lls per day.

(a ) P resent rates are-£5 per annum, with 1,000 free callB per half-year; calls over 1,000, and up to 2,000 per half-year, per ca.ll ; over 2,000 and up to 3,000, 3 calls ld.; over 3,000, 4 c11.lls ld. ·

(b ) Department's Proposed Rates-£4 per annum. Calls up to 2,000 per half­ year, per call; over 2,000 and up to 3,500 per half-y ear, 3 calls Jd.;

over 3,500 calls, 4 calls ld. • (c) Rates recommended by Commisaion-£3 5s. per annum ; 500 calls per half­ year at 5s. per 100 ; above 500 and up to 1,500 calls per half-year, 4s. per 100; over 1,500 calls per half-year, 3s. per 100. In all cases fractions of ld. to be charged as ld.

I Presen t Rates. I Department's Proposed Rt>tes. R'tes Recommended,

Half-yearly. Half-yea rly. Half-yearly. No.

Yearly Yearly Yearly

-- _ Total. Total. Total. RentaL Calis. Rental. Calls. ---- --·- -------- £ s. d. £ 8. d. £ 8· d . I£ s. £ s. d. £ s. d . . £ £ s. d. £ 8, d. I l ... 2 lO ... 5 0 0 2 0 7 8 4 15 4 1 12 6 0 1.1 2 4 3 4 1 3 ... 1 2 10 ... 5 0 0 2 l 2 10 6 5 8 1 12 6 1 611 5 18 10 3 6average 2 10 0 4 0 5 8 0 2 2 5 8 8 ll 4 I 12 6 2 8 10 8 2 8 ' 6 10 ... 2 10 l 14 5 8 8 lO 2 3 16 1 ll 12 2 1 12 6 314 9 10 14 6 lO 15 ... 1 2 10 3 2 2 11 4 4 2 5 3 10 14 7 8 1 12 6 5 2 2113 9 4 15 :zo ... I 2 10 4 3 1 13 6 2 2 6 8 2 16 16 4 1 12 6 6 9 6 16 4 0 20 30 ... 2 lO 6 1 1 17 2 2 2 8 6 2 20 12 2 I 12 6 9 4 3 21 13 6 30 0 ... I 2 w 7 19 1 20 IS 2 2 10 4 2 Z4 8 4* 1 12 6 1119 0 1 27 3 0 40 4 * I n the scale finally adopted by the Department aij from l st September, 1910, .j:d. calls wero eliminated. This will increase t he cost to the larger user, e. g., in lieu of £24 Ss. 4d. in the a bove table, the charge under the new scale would be £ 27 ls. 4d. (O)lPARATI VE STATEMENT showing amounts payable by subscribers using 70, 100, and 130 calls per diem, under fl a t rate, present measured service rate, Department's proposed and ra tes recommen ded by the Commission. I Calls p er I Flat rate day. (max.). Present Measured Service I Proposed Rates necommended by ____ __ No 70 100 130 Calls. Rental. Total. Calls. Rental. Total, Calls. Rental. Total. £ !) £ s. d. 23 10 6 £ £ s. d. £ .•. d. £ £ 8. d. £ 8, d. £ 8. d. £ s. d. 5 28 10 1) 28 0 8 4 32 o 8" 34 17 4 3 5 o 38 2 4 9 _4 1 9 43 1 10 5 48 1 10 47 12 o 4 51 12 o• 63 o 10 3 5 o 66 5 10 • Under the n ew scale these figures would be £37 4s. 2d., £50 5s,, £63 15s. 10d. Pt•tsent Flat Rates. State Capitals. I Other Towns. _ £ 8. d. £ d. £ '· d. £ 8. d, N ew South Wales 9 0 0 5 0 0 8 0 0 5 0 0 Victoria 9 0 0 5 0 0 7 0 0 5 0 0 Queensland 6 0 0 6 0 0 6 0 0 6 0 0 South Australia 10 0 0 5 0 0 £5 to £10 5 0 0 Western Australia 7 0 0 5 0 0 7 0 0 5 0 0 Tasmania 6 0 0 4 10 0 £3 to £6 £3 to £4 lOs. N or&.--For Telephone R ates in other countries, see Appendix IX. •


Trunk Line Charges.

212. Your Commissioners have arrived at the conclusion tlwt tlw present system of trunk line charges do es not provide for proper distribu­ tion of the financial load, and recommend tbat this section of th e telephone

' ,, -,

service be dealt with as a distinct proposition. From the evidence it is Rate• should be clear that the lower rates now charged should be raised. Trunk lim• raised. charges, taken as a whole, are Ct1nsidered to be payable to the Department, but the minimum appears to be too low, because the cost of operating alom•

on any trunk line is e'stimated to be Twopence, without making provision to repay capital outlay. On the the maximum charge appears to lw


too .high. Your Commissioners th erefore recommend a revision of tiH•sP R c d t . l · h h b' f · ffi · . t' e o:nmen a 1011 • c 1arges, wit · t e o o earnmg su I'IP.nt revenue to cover cost. o operating, plus proper charges on the capital cost, whieh necessarily varies with length of line. Further, the longer lines require a higher gauge und

more expensive class of wire.

Cundition of Telephone lnsb·uments.

213. An unreasonable demand made by telephone suhserihers (involving considerable expense) is for modern telephone instruments to replace existing instruments, although those instruments may possess au effective life of many years. Your Commissioners consider that in sudt

cases it is gross extravagance to discard effective instruments merely at the caprice of a subscriber, unless the subscriber is prepared to heat· au equitable proportion of the extra cost of the new instrument.



214. ( 1) Establishment of a Capital Account.-The economies arc self-evident in this matter, as the Department would be enabled to proceed systematically, and therefore economically, in all construction work.

(2) Efficient Maintenance.-Deferred maintenance ultimately makes for considerably increased expt>nJiture.

(3) Stores.-'-Considerable savings could be made by wholesale purchase of stores. By the possession ·of a tltores Purchase or Suspense Account favorable markets could be availed of. Modification of the tender system of purchase by the appointment of a buying agent would result in economy.

Departmental insurance fund would cover losses by fire,

( 4) Stamp Issues.-Considerable savings would result from the intro­ duction of a Commonwealth stamp, the printing of all stamps at a common centre, eloser attention to granting of stamp licences, and by the use of automatic stamping machines.

( 5) Pa.11ment of Telegrams and bulk postage in cash.-This would reduce possibility of fraud, and also the cost of checking.

( 6) Parcel and Packet Post.-The amalgamation of these two services would result in economy in administrative expenses.

Passed 24th June, 1910

Effective instruments should not be discarded.

Discontent in Service.



215. Your Commissioners desire to state that the bulk of the

evidence presented during the course of the investigation related to Organization. Under this section are included all the ramifications of the Service, extending from the office of the Central Executive to every State branch and sub-branch. In addition to examining witnesses, your Commissioners made personal inspection of the accommodation and the

working' conditions in the General Post Office and other Post Offices in each State. The responsible officers of tlte Uepartment stated that the branches were insufficiently staffed, and alleged that under existing conditions it was impossible for the DPpartment to render a thoroughly efficient service to the public. The evidence disclosed the existence of an abnormal amount of discontent within the Department. Your Commis­ sioners c:onsider that a sound system of organization is impracticable without an effective system of managetnent, together with highly competent support in the :-ltates branches. It is also requisite to provide proper

working conditions, and ample and well arranged office accommodation, in order to secure the necessary facilities for the transaction of public business, and to enable thorough supervision to be exercised.

216. Your Commissioners have arranged under t.heir respective headings a summary of the complaints, together with evidence in rebuttal, and have submitted recommendations in connexion therewith, which they believe will make for improved organization and discipline. In dealing

with this aspect of their inquiry, your Commissioners are influenced by a desire to secure in the public interest a more efficient, economical, and contented service.


21 7. On the transference of the Department in 1901 from the States to the Commonwealth, there were 9,930 permanent officers employed, at a salary expenditure of £1,20H,222, the average salary per officer being £121. On lst January , 1910, . of H,OOO permanent officers employed in the Commonwealth Public Service, 12,240 were in thP- Post and Telegraph Department. They were distributed as follows :-

Central Executive New South Wales Victoria Queensland ... South Australia. Western Australia Tasmania

Total salaries



Average salary per officer


4,639 3,345 1,442 1,109 1,240



£1,5i7,261 129

The officers are grouped into divisions as follows :­ Administrative Division (Secretary, Assistant Secre-tary, anJ Deputy Postmasters-(;eneral) ... Professional Division Clerical Division General Division ..



3,382 8,790


218. In addition to the above officers the Department employs a large of exempt and temporary officials, the figures in connexion with

whwh are set out below :- ·

N:umber Employed.

March, 1901. 1904. 1906. 1907. 1908. 1909.

Exempt 5,109 8,871 9,107 11,290 12,605 l3,tii5

Temporary 535 1,341 1,527 2,773 3,048 ') ..... ) .. -,1-i)

Total 5,644: 10,212 10,634 14,063 1.'5,653 16,4\l()


£ £ £ £ £ £

Exempt 117,639 142,17 5 ... 156,738 171,67t.i 210,684 244,9:1!4

Temporary 50,14:2* 13,707 ... 20,868 53,535 . .. 81,244 62,830

--- --- ---- --- --- ---·-- Total ... 167,781 ... 155,8':32 . .. 177,606 ... 225,113 . .. 291,928 . .. 30i,76H --- ----- ---- --- ---- ---·-* Includes linemen, then temporary, now permanent. than official offices, '.'Exempt officers" includes persons employed in po!-!t otflcee otht'r CENTRAL ExECUTIVE. 219. The Central Executive being responsible for the general control of the Department, including the issue of regulations and instructions governing the working of the services, its leading officials should he highly qualified and possess n.onsiderable experience in post and telegraphic affairs. Your Commissioners consider that the Central Executive is not so highly equipped in this respect as it should be, and recommend that immediate provision should be made to effect this end. 220. In the office of the Central Executive, as now constituted, provision is not made for a Commonwealth inspectorial staff. Consequently the Central Executive has been in the unfortunate position of possessi!1g little acquaint­ance with the actual conditions existing iu the States branches, beyond that obtained by the unsatisfactory method of official correspondence. 221. In the section of their Report dealing with Management, your Commissioners have recommended the appointment of a Chief Inspector, whose duty it would be to supply the Central Executive with the information required. This is essential to an effective system of organization. 222. The accountancy section of the Central Executive was found to be insufficiently staffed to deal effectively with the proper functions of such nn important bmnch. This branch has been strengthened by the addition of three officers within the last eighteen months. Prior to 1907 the the Central Executive hnd the assistance of only one clerk. In such circumstances it is not surprising that a proper and uniform system of bookkeeping was .not established ; to obtain complete and reliable financial information was a matter of impossibility. The Chief Accountant should be an expert in his profession, and should be supported by a com­petent and adequate staff', so that a correct annual balance-sheet of the Department's business could be prepared, and a proper system of book­keeping instituted. The Chief Accountant should be the controlling and directing Accountant for the Department. The absenee of a proper accountancy staff in the present organization is, in the opinion of your Commissioners, one of the most serious defects which exists in the office of the Central Executive. An extraordinarv fenture is that the status of the Aceountant in the office of the Central Executive is lower than that of the Accountants in the States of New South Wales and Victoria. Your Com­missioners consider that the Central Executive Accountant should be the superior offieer. Under the proposed Board of Management the fullest consideration would be given to the establishment of this very important branch of the Central Executive on the highest standard of efficiency. I' ._

Experienced oflicers requlrecl.

Inspection from Central 0111.ce.

Chief Inspector necessary.

Central Accounts Branch.

Status of Accountant to Central Executive.



Statistical Branch required. 223. The Central Executive should be provided with a Statistical

Branch to collect statistics in addition to those required by the Postal Convention. It is necessary to simpli(y the method of collecting statistical information, as your Commissioners found that a considerable amount of duplication took place in the States' branches in connexion with this work. This branch should be attached to the Accounts Branch of the Central Executive, as the bulk of the statistics collated would relate to finance.

Chief Electrical Engineer hampered.

224. The Chief Electrical Engineer has been hampered in performing his technical duties by being confined too largely to administrative and detail work, and he has not been provided with sufficient opportumt1es to inspect the State Electrical Engineers' Branches, or to thoroughly standardize construction material and methods.

Too much clerical work. 2 2 5. The Chief Electrical Engineer should ,_be relieved of clerical work, beyond that inherent in the preparation of estimates, specifications,

drawings for the guidance of State Electrical Engineers, and in the drafting of technical instructions. The staff of this official (up to the time of this investigation) consisted of one temporary clerical assistant, which condition of affairs made it necessary for the Chief Electrical Engineer to work a considerable amount of overtime.

Recent increase of staff.

226. Since the commencement of this inquiry the staff of the Chief Electrical Engineer has been increased by two assistant electrical engineers. This discloses the difficulties with which the Chief Electrical Engineer has had to cope. Much of this important officer's time has been taken up on work which slJOuld have been performed by junior officials.

Organization defective.

Salary of Chief Electrical En­ gineer inadequate.

Secretary and Assistant Secre­ tary not required.

· 22 7. U ndee a proper system of organization the Central Executive would have provided its foremost professional officer with full opportunities of inspection, which is essential to the proper performance of his duties. In the scheme of recommended by your Commissioners this

has been recognised, and provision made for the Chief Electrical Engineer to be a member of the Board of Management.

228. In view of the importance of the office of Chief Electrical Engineer, and the necessity for sound engineering advice and effectivi=l control of engineering matters, its occupant should have the fullest opportunity to exercise his professional skill for the benefit of the Department. The salary

of £7 50 attached to this office is, in the opinion of your Commissioners, most inadequate.

229. Should the proposed scheme of management be adopted, it wm not be necessary to equip the Central Executive with a Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The appointment of a lower-salaried officer to a,ct as Secretary to the Board of Management would suffice.

Send1:ng OtficeTs to other Countries .for the purpose of

230. Under the Management section of the Report your Commis­ Periodical visits to sioners have recommended the advisability of officers periodically visiting other countries. h c • f b · · d · l h k ot er countries 10r tne purpose o ecommg acquamte w1t 1 t e wor ing . conditions of their Post and Telegraph Departments. They consider it,wiH

be impossible to acquire a sound organization unless leading officials are sent on necessary trips of inspection.

231. There is evidence of only one official (the Chief Electrical Engineer) haYing been provided with such facility. A subordinate Electrical Engineer, while on a private visit, inspected the telephone construction and equipment in England and America, and reported the result pf his inquiries


on return to the CommonWealth. witness claimed that the nppli­ catwn of some of the methods adopted m other countries would save the Department thousands of pounds. The Chief Electrical Engineer admitted that several of these reforms had been adopted with advantag·e to the

Department, a.nd that probably more would be adopted when opportunity occurred.


,, ... ,

Reformed methoda.

232. Your Commissioners recommend that periodical trips to other Recommendation. countries be arranged for the Chief Electrical Engineer.

Instructions to O.fficers.

233. A great number of instructions on departmental practice :m• issued by the Central Executive to the States Branches of the Departnwnt, and by the latter to the officets concerned. Complaints were received as to the voluminousness of these instructions, and the consequent difficulty

experienced by officers in becoming thoroughly c.onversant with them. In the opinion of your Commissioners simplicity and greater effeetiveness would result if all instructions to officers were revised, codified, and issued in pamphlet form. It may be mentioned that such a system has he(•Jl adopted with success by the New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department.

Complaints were also made that regulations affecting the staff' arc not always supplied to the officials. This defect should be remedied, in justi('c.' to the officers concerned.


234. Until the present yeat a separate Postal Guide was published in each State. These guides contained little entirely local matter. In March, 1910, ·a Commonw-ealth Postal Gttide was issued by the Central Executive. Earlier actio)l in this direction would have resulted in economy and puhlie


It was stated in evidence that the present Telegraph Regulations

are confusing, especially those dealing with code and cipher messages. A revision of these, and other regulations in the Postal Guide, by expert officers, is desirable, and would lessen the danger of misinterpretation by officials.


236. Under the Management section of this Report your Commis­ sioners have dealt with the n1any disabilities under which the administrative officers in the States have ·been labouring. These officers should be released from detail clerical work which they are now performing.

Such work should be delegated for definite action to subordinate clericfll officers, such as the Chief Clerk and senior clerks. This course of action · would give the Deputy Postmasters-General ample opportunity to supervise and control the organization of their branches, and would provide the

necessary facilities to enable them to obtain the knowledge requisite to deal effectively with staff matters. Further, they would be able to beco!lle sufficiently acquainted with the capabilities of their subordinates to gmde them in their decisions and recommendations as chairmen of the State Staff


Superabundance of instructions.

Codification of instructions.

Issue o! Common· wealth Poatal Guide delayed.

Telegraph regula­ tions. contusing.

Deputy Post­ masters-General do too much clerical work.

23 7. Several witnesses suggested . that the Deputy Postmasters- of

General could, with advantage, be periodically exchanged between on · the ground that a wider experience would be gained. Your CommJs-sioners consider that such exchanges are not warranted, as they would hamper continuity of administration. The scheme of control recommended obviates the necessity for the adoption of such a practice.

Visits of inspec­ tion necessary.

Objections by officers.


238. For the purpose of obtaining :t personal knowledge of the work­ in

the State, but should not absent themselves for any lengthy perwd from the head office or m anv wa;' assume the le

239. In accordance with the provisions of the Common wealtb Public Service Act, which came into operation ou 1st January, 1903, the Common­ wenlth Public '· ervice Commissioner elassified the Service into four divisions, prescribed by Section I:> of the Commonwealtl1 Public Service Act,


( 1) The Adt11inistrative Division. ( :2) The Professional Division ( 3) The Clerical Division. ( 4) The General Division.

240 The Classification was completed in June, 1904, and, after being submitted to Parliament for approval, came into operation in July, 1904.

241. The representatives . of associations su.bmitted numerous objec­ tious to the existing classification scheme,

242. The following is a brief summary of the .more important objections:-( l) The basis of the Classification was wrong, the status of

officers under State control not being a fair guide. (:2) The salaries determined were too low in many instances. ( 3) The Classification was based on seniority, and not on merit. Officers' ability was not investigated. Positions were

classified, and not the officers. ( 4) A scheme common to the Commonwealth, with its varying conditions, could not possibly meet requirements. The special conditions of Western Australia did not receive

consideration. ( 5) Many positions were not inspected by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspectors prior to classification, and full inquiries were not marie. ·

( 6) Pre-Federal rights were not recognised. In South Australia the Classification was lower than that of the State Board's dassification of 190 1. (7) Officers in receipt of excessive salaries were not removed to

positions commensurate with their pay. (8) Subdivisions have been created in the General Division, according to salary, and not according to the work (e.g., sorters' grades). (9) Assistants, letter carriers, mail-drivers, and grooms were

classified on the same level, although the work varies greatly in importance. .

( 10) Incorrect designations were used. For example; officers performing telegraphic work were classified as clerical assistants. (11) Officers doing clerical work were graded in the General

. Division.

(12) Officers with clerical status doing General Division work at time of Classification were classified in the General Divioion. ( 13) Similar positions were differently classified (e.g., telegraph

counter work was classified clerical, and stamp and other counter work was classified as General Division).


243. Some witnesses requested that the Service should be re-elassifit:.'

244. The Commonwealth Service Commissioner stated that upon the issue of the Classification scheme in 1904, it was recognised tllllt, while a large amount of work had been performed in bringing into aeeord the h eterogeneous elements of Public Service administration brought O\"<•r

from the States, much still remained to be done in perfecting and har­ monising the system; that this has since been kept steadily in view, and a continuous re-appraisement of duties and of officers, together with of rates of pay wherever necessary, has been carried out; that the requpst

made in evidence for a re-classification of the whole Public Service is ha;-;pd apparently. upon insufficient knowledge of the system in operation ; that such a re-classification, instead of being made arbitrarily and at a fixed dnte, can best be secured by continuous investigation, report, and adjustlllent,

and that this is the only business-like way of dealing with a Public Sen-ice such as that of the Commonwealth.

245. The Commonwealth Public Service [nspector of New South Wales stated that salaries were riot reduced, o1· officers retired ll\· tl1v Classification ; and that no injustice was done by the Classification. · This witness stated that before the original Classification officers' work was inspected ; and that General Division officers doing clerical work were uot

classified clerical where there were clerical men available for the work.

246. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of Queensland considered that the Classification was con1plete and satisfactory. HP stilted that under State control the Service was built on politicai influence ; tl1at overpaid officers were taken over at their State salaries, but the Service was re-arranged as opportunity afterwards offered, and that there are still some

overpaid officers.

247. The Commonwealth Public Serviee lnspectol' of South Australia stated that if the Service is to be treated as a whole, the Classification must be on one basis with no exception in any particular State ; that the Classi­ fication scheme was founded on the Public Inspectors' recomrnenda­

tions ; that the State Classification of 1901 was never brought into

operation ; that it was according to the Civil Service Act 187 4, .which gave the minimum and maximum salary to each class of officer; and that in 1 \l04 the officers in South Australia were classified on the volume of the work of each office, the s·ame as in the other States.


r&-cl&881Aca t1011.

Commonwealth Public Service Commiaaioner' a



New South Wales Public Service Inspector' a statement.

Queensland Public Service Inspector'• vtewa.

South Australian Public Service Inspector' 8 statement.

248. The Common wealth Public Service Inspector of Western western Austre.­ Australia stated that there was no classification in Western Australia prior lian Service d 1

. . I! l · . h d b Inspector 8

to 1904, an that consequently the sa anes m 10rce at t Jat time a to e statement.

taken as the basis ; that the Common wealth Public Service Commissioner had to consider the States where classifications previously existed, and formulate a system to meet conditions obtaining at the various places, and nrrive at a scheme which would be fair to the officers; that Western

Australia was not treated differently from any of the other States ; taat Western Australian officers were under a disadvantage as regards salaries which was adjusted by district allowances ; that seniority was based absolutely on salary exclusive of allowances ; that under State regime

portions of allowances had been in some cases into salaries, but,. so far as the Commonwealth is concerned, this had nothing to do w1th seniority ; that the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner had reports ·on all the officers from the Ueputy Postmaster-General, and, as n?ne

of these were bad, he had to accept efficiency and good conduct as bemg established. ·


Each objection to be 249. Your Commissioners will fully consider each objection made to the existing Classification scheme when the separate divisions of the Service

are being dealt with. Under distinct headings, recommendations will be 'made which will, in their opinion, tend to provide a more equitable 'classification.

I) . " p -·:· ;.-;._;7 ,. . ... ·· ·-· ·· ,._ 250. · Com1)laints were received in everv State that in almost every I " O.fficers doing W01·k above their Gmding. .\branch of the Department officers are called upon to perform, for lengthy Higher grade work ': periods, work of a higher grade than their own status without extra without extra ,) remuneration. This state of affairs is alleged to be occasioned through payment. jwant of a sufficient permanent staff. The only exception in regard to the J' non-p ayment of extra remuneration is that of linemen acting as line foremen, for which duty they receive an extra allowance of £6. I 251. Your Commissioners do not approve of officers performing work above their grades for lengthy periods without additional remuneration. agree with the opinion expressed by the Commonwealth Public Service that it is a good practice, for educational purposes, to allow 61 juniors t o do the work of seniors while the latter are absent on leave ; but, vacancies of per- the work is of a permanent character, vacancies should be filled by manent character of the proper status. In other cases, when officers are called upon should be filled. .. f' d . f l . h d h h ld b . l h 1 h' Clerical work at ueneral Division pay. .:to per vrm utles o a 11g er gra e, t ey s ou e pai< t e sa ary attac mg . to the higher grade, if they are employed therein for a period of three months General Division Officers doing Clerical Work. :.-'1 _, 252. Complaints were submitted that in a number of cases General :Division officers are performing clerical work for General Division pay. '.:This was especially the case in regard to postal assistants. The work ·performed by some of these officers is of such a charactel' that it is difficult to determine whether it is Clerical or General Division work. 253. Further, it was alleged that many of these officers exchange duties with clerical officers, and also relieve postmasters. 254. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that in many instances this class of work is more removed from General Division than it is from officers entitled to clerical work, and that in such cases the offi cers are entitled to clerical clerical status. status. Officers superseded. Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's statement. Clerical Officers doinp; Genm·al Division Work. 255. Complaints were made by representatives of the Associations in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania that there are a number of officers with clerical status employed in the General Division, these officer3 being regarded as General Division so far as promotion and privileges are concerned. It was alleged that some of these officers had been superseded by others,. who had qualified for clerical · positions more recently·. It was claimed on behalf of these officers that many of them are capable of performing clerical duties satisfactorily; and that in those cases their retention in tht:l General Division is unfair to them­selves, and to the officers in the General Division. 256. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner explained that, when the Service was classified in 1904, 672 officers with clerical status were found employed on what was .regarded as General Division work ; that the clerical status of these officers was preserved ; and that about one-half have since been transferred to clerical vacancies, while. some have renounced their claim to clerical grading.


2 57. Your Commissioners conside1: that such of these officers as ar<· capable of performing clerical work should be appointed to clerical positions, and should receive preference to other· persons for such positions. Thus<• who do not show capacity for attaining to clerical positions should be gra

definitely in the General Division, thus removing the existing anoma(y.

State Rt'ghts.

258. The representatives of the Post and Telegraph Association in South Australia stated that-(1)




The loss of accrued and accruing rights is the South Aus­ tralian officers greatest grievance. Officers were assured before Federation that the constitution effectively preserved rights accrued and accruing, but the compact was broken

by the Commonwealth authorities in every instance, exeept in the matter of retiring allowances. Consequently, a very large proportion of the South Australian ufficers ltav'e suffered monetary losses ranging from £5 to £150 per

annum, and loss of status to such an extent that iJl some cases postmasters with R5 and 40 years' service are juniol' to officers who served under them as messengers. South Australian postmasters, postmistresse:;;, and a number of assistants were deprived of accrued and accruing rights by

the abolition of emoluments under the 1904. Classificatiou. These emoluments were not gratuities. Under the State the officers in question were remunerated partly by statutory salary, and partly by sundry such as Savings

Bank salary, rebate on sale of stamps, and free quarters, which were regarded as part of their salaries. Individual losses range from £1 4s. to £157 per annum, and subsequent promotion has made up the losses in some cases. The total amount involved is about £4,000 per annum, or a total of about £20,000 up to the time of giving evidence.

The hard-earned recognition granted to South Australian officers just prior to Federation was minimised by the Commissioner's action in stopping increments due to them under the South Australian Ci vii Service Act of 18 7 4,

which provides for yearly increments in the various classes. Shortly before Federation (about six months) a number of officers who had been at the maximum of their classes fl)r from five to twenty years were promoted to tbe next class,

entitling them to annual increments of £10 for five years. Ori transfer to Commonwealth these increments were paid for three years, but they were stopped when Parliament approved of the 1904 Classification, and the right to su bse­

quent increments was repudiated by the Commissioner on the Attorney-General's orinion. They considered that if Parliament had been aware of the conditions this would not have happened. Several of the officers received their

increments pending the adoption of the Classification by Parliament, but were subsequently put back to their classified salaries, being deprived of £10 to £4:0 per annum thereby.

In South Australia there was no age limit for retirement prior to Federation. Since Federation the Civil Service Act of South Australia has been amended, making 70 years the retiring age. The Commonwealth Public Service Act

fixes the age at 65. This right should be preserved to South Australian officers, more especially as they have no pension rights. Officers have been retired at 65, thereby losing financially,,


Otlleers who shout be appointed to Clerical Division.

South Australian Post and Tele­ graph Association representative's



Alleged decision or High Cotirt.

Deputy Post­ master-General indorses state­ ments.

settlor Postal Inspector cocro bora tes.

Commonwealth Public Service Inspector's · 11tJe.tement.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's explanation.

Request for West­ ern Australian rights to be preserved.


259. These witnesses claimed that the High Court's decision in the test cases concerning State rights wHs not logical, and that restitution should be made.

260. The Deputy Postmaster-General of South Australia indorsed the statements of the representatives of the South Australian Post and Telegraph Association, and stated that officers in South Australia have been deprived of privileges which should have remained to them, and that the new rule should have been applied only to their successors. He considered that the sweeping away of the privileges was legal, but '

261. The Senior Postal Inspector of South Australia corroborated the statement that country postmasters have sustained serious loss of money and status through repudiation of State rights, and stated that retirement at 65 years of age works unjustly in absence of pensions ; that under the State no age was fixed ; that accruing rights to annual increments were unjustly stopped through the Classification ; that emoluments· for work done for other departments were considered part of salary under the State ; that these emoluments should have been left to the officers receiving them, and the new rule applied to their successors .

. 262. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of South Aus­ tralia stated that Savings Bank work done by postmasters was taken into consideration by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner in classi·· :tying offices, and in s0me cases caused raising of grades; that in other

States this work was done without extra pay ; that through the Classifica­ tion postmasters and country officers lost emoluments for Savings Bank work and selling stamps ; and that they were not reduced in salary. . He considered that these emoluments should be paid to revenue, as the work is done in office hours, and is not similar to work of Clerks of Courts, and B.egistrars of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, allowances for which were retained under the Commonwealth. He also stated that postmasters have not benefited by Federation, because the emoluments they drew under the

State were enormous, being as much as the salary in some instances ; that the work was done by the staff; and that in some places the work has been withdrawn because the Savings Bank has opened branches. This witness considered that the officers' claim for £4,000 per annum was not a fair one.

263. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner explained that Saving Bank emoluments were not regarded by State Acts as salary ; that the officers having no constitutional rights in the matter were classified uniformly with the officers in other States that the emoluments under th.e

State law were superseded by the Classification, under which Commonwealth benefits were received by the officers. This witness considered that special legislation to secure continuance of these so-called rights was not justifiable, and would involv-e similar action in other States, thus destroying the

Commonwealth classification scheme.

264. Your Commissioners are unable to recommend the introduction oflegislation by the Commonwealth Parliament to overcome the decision of the High Court ..

The representatives of associations in Vvestern Australia stated

that an Act was passed by the State Parliament on 5th December, 1900, providing for three months' leave on full pay, and three months' on half pay, fur every six year's service. These witnesses requested that this right should be preserved under the Constitution and the Common wealth Public Service Act, but, recognising the very heavy expense that would result to the Department by granting this claim, the bulk of the officials were prepared to accept monetary compensation in lieu of this leave of absence. It was asserted that the alleged right was first recognised, and afterwards denied.


266. A leading official in Western Australia stated that officers . in Western Australia are di scontented owing to the loss of this long service leave, which they considered a State right. This official further claimed that the loss of f'ree medical attendance and medicine, which was a privilege

under State control, was a · serious one. · ·

2 6 7. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector in Western A us­ tralia stated-that it had been decided that the long service leave and free medical attendance given in Western Australia coul'd not be regarded as :State rights.

268. Your Commissioners agree with the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner that the general improvement in salaries and condi­ under the Common wealth . more than compensates for the alleged

disadvantages, and, therefore, they cannot recommend the restoration of these alleged rights.

Technical Division.

269. Representatives of associations throughout the Commonwealth complained that the Classification scheme did not provide for a Techuieal Division. These "Witnesses claimed that the grading of technical officers in the General Division gives little inducement for the best men to remain in

the Service, and alleged that the telephonic service is suffering from the loss of a number of good officers who have resigned on account of the poor prospects in regard to salary ; that this class of work requires educational · qualifiGations at least equal to those of the Clerical Division, a.nd entails

study at outside electrical and engineering classes. This course of study was stated to involve considerable expense. It was chtime.d that junior instrument fitters having to pass an examination constitutes a claim for a higher grade than General Division officers.

2 7 0. Requests were made that a Technical Division should be established to include telephone managers, assistant managers, mechanicians, exchange foremen, inspectors, foremen, instrument fitters, district super­ visors, and foremen of the Electric Light Branch.

2 71. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that he objected to the establishment of a Technical 1 Jivision, because the Service is already complicated by the number of divisions, classes, and grades, and the creation of a new division would only serve to intensify · existing difficulties of administration; that delaJS would be in filling

vacancies; ·that General Division officers would complain at having to qualify for transfer to a Technical Division. This witness considered that instrument fitters have no better claim for inclusion in a special division than have carpenters, blacksmiths, and painters. He was of the opinion

that a Telephone' Manager's main qua1ifications should not be technical.

272. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that objection to classification in the General Division is largely sentimental; that if a Technical Division be created, higher pay and greater privilP-ges would not necessarily follow.

2 7 3. Your Commissioners, while recognising the great importance of the technical section of the Service, cannot recommend the fol'mation of a Technical Division, as it would only tend to a further complication of an already over-graded Service, but consider that if the Board of Management

as recommended be appointed action would be taken to adapt the Classifica­ tion to the requirements of the Service. Under the various divisions of the Service, your Commissioners have made recommendations which, if, will obviate the continuance of many of the objections referred

to by the associations' representatives. E 2

Loss of tree medical attendance.

Alleged rlghta not to be restored.

Grading ot technical ol!lcers.

Objection to estab­ lishment of Tech· nical Division by Commonwealth

Public Service Commissioner.

New South Wales Inspector's view.

RecoJllmenda tion.


Long service in· crements provided.

Complaints of block at £160.

Further complaints.

Clerical Division.

7 4. The Comnwnwealth Public Service Act, secti011 19, ptovides


The Clerical Division shall be divided into five classes. Each of such classes shall be subdivided as set forth in the

Tl1ird Schedule to this Act aJJd the rate of salary of an officer in a subdivision of any such class shall be that assigned to such subdivision in such Schedule. 'l'HIRD. SCHEDULE.



First Class Second Class Third Class Fourth Class

Fifth Ciass J





520 420 310 185

40 50 60

Second Su bdivision .


540 440 335 :!10

,( 80

I l I

Annual Salary of Subdi\'ision of Cln•s.

Third Fourth Fifth 3ixth

Subdid sion. Subdi rision . I Subd i vision. Subdivision.

_ __ j


£ £ ! £ £

560 580 600

460 480 500

360 380 400

235 260 285

100 120 140 160

2 7 5. Since the passing of this Act the maximum of the Fifth Class (£160 per annum) has been increased by two long service increments of £10 each, the first after three years' service on the former statutory maxi­ mum, and the second after two years further service.

276. Represenbttives of associations complained that a considerable num her of clerical officers remain stationarY at the maximum of the Fifth Class, with little prospe<:>t of advancement ·to the Fourth Class. It was stated that there are 700 officers in the Service who nrc so situated.

2 7 7. The representative of the New South Wales Professional and Clerical Officers' Association stated that there were in that State 114 clerks in the Fifth Class, and only 31 had been promoted since the inception of Federation. Some of these officers had given from fourteen to thirty years' service. This witness consi.dered that the long service increments to £180, while a present boon, may militate against officers obtaining promotion to the Fourth Class ; that there are a number of Fifth Class clerks performing Fourth Class work, but their promotion is blocked because the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner considers that there is a preponderance of Fourth Class over Fifth Class officers.

Suggested amend­ ments of Act.

::Maximum salary q),esired.

(06ll1DUlnwealth Service

•Commissioner 's :Statement.

Z 7 8. It was suggested that section 21, sub-section 3, of the Act should be amended to provjde for two yearly increments of £10 to officers after they attain a salary of £160 per annum; that section 23, sub-section 1, be amended to provide for promotion to Fourth Ciass where Fifth Class officers have done Fourth Class work for six months or more.

279. Some leading officials considered that the maximum salary for Fifth ·Class clerical officers should be £200 per annum ; the· increments not to be statutory, hut subject to passing non-competitive practical examinations.

280. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner considered that .Fifth Class officers receive adequate remuneration. H e stated that their positions are classified on work value, and not on length of service, and that officers cannot advance beyond the Fifth Class without reference


to work -\ralue or capacity; that the percentage of officers in the Clerical Division above the Fifth Class is 50 per cent., so that there can be no block at the maximum of the Fifth Class. This witness considered that manv Fifth Class officers in the Postal Department are unfit to perform highe'r

grade work. He was of the opinion that increases of £20 annuaJly are too liberal, and considered that for the first five years' service increments of £10 each would be sufficient, the present advancement being so rapid that officers complain when stopped at the maximum of the Fifth Class.

281. The Commonwealth Public . Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that the salaries of Fifth Class clerical officers are higher than they were under State control. He expressed the opinion that th'ere is an enormous amount of routine clerical work not worth more than Fifth Class


282. Your recommend that the maximum of the Fifth

Class be increased to £:WO per annum; that advancement to £160 by statutory increments remain as established; and that increases beyond £160 per annum be at the rate of £10, subject to work value, good conduct, and efficiency. ·

283. Your Commissioners also recommend that, should the scheme of proposed management be adopted, the t;taff Committee be empowered to recommend all increases beyond £160 pE>r annum.


Commonwealth Public Service Inspector • a statement.

Recommend& tiona.

284. Your Commissioners consider that the utmost care and Discrimination discrimination are necessary in appointing officials to positions as heads required. of branches, in order to insure that these positions shall be filled by competent officers who would exercise their responsibilities in matters of

administration and control.

285. Evidence was obtained that in many instances these officers did work of a minor clerical nature which could have been performed by junior officers.

286. Many of the heads of branches were unable to properly supervise the work of their subordinates. This was largely due to want of space, and the faulty arrangement of the office accommodation at their disposal. This matter will be dealt with in this Report under "Buildings and


287. Your Commissioners failed to recognise in many of the ·officials now holding positions as head of branches the possession of the qualifica­ tions requisite to properly control their branches, and they are of the opinion that these officers r{'lied to a very great extent on the abilities of their

subordinates. In arriving at this conclusion your Commissioners did not confine themselves to the evidence of these officers, but in every State made a personal inspection of their branches.

288. Being impressed with the unsatisfactory condition of affairs in this respect, your . Commissioners asked superior officers to explain the reason for appointing to such positions officers not of the highest standard. The reason given by the superior officers was that the heads of branches

were the best available at the time of appointment.

289. When it is realized that under the present system the heads of branches are immediately in the line of promotion to the higher executive positions in the Service, the 9f position ·iii

obvious. ·

Serious state or aft' airs.

Requisite qualifi­ cations lacking.

Reasons for ap­ POiP.tml)nts liesired.



290. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that this lamentable state of affairs is the result of adherence to:the of promotion by

Baneful influence seniority, and they consider that investigation would reveal the presence of of seniority. many other officers in the Service with the necessary qualifications to fill

Importance of inspectors.

Position unattractive.

Staffs inadequate.

Neglect of inspection.

Neglect to pcovide 1f1spectors.


take up time.

these important positions. ·- ·-'"-· .. " ....... -.. -- , . ...

. 2 91 Your Commissioners consider that the proposed Board of

Management, if appointed, would speedily remedy this condition of affairs.


292. Your Commissioners attach great importance to the office of Inspector, as it is solely from the inspectors that the Deputy Postmasters­ General are enabled to obtain reliable ad\ri ce as to the efficiency or other­ wise of the services in the branch offices. It is only by the closest scrutiny of the working of the branch offices that it is possible for the Department to ascertain whether the services are being effectively administered.

293. The very large districts and sparse settlement in Australia render the duties of inspectors very arduous, necessitating almost constunt travelling, which makes this position unattractive to many competent officials in the Service.

2 94. Your Commissioners consider that the present inspection staff is not adequate. The following table shows the inspection staffs of the various States :-I

I No. of Clerks. N". of I No. of State. Districts. I Inspectors. I New South Wales 7 I 9 l 1 Victoria 3 I 4 7 Queensland 4 I 6 4 South Australia 2 l Western Australia 4 I 5 6 TasmP.nia ... I 1 I 295. The Auditor-General stated that, during the year 1907-8, 1,072 offices in New South Wales, 300 in Victoria, 139 in Queensland, 30'3 in South Australia, 53 in Tasmania, and 22 in Western Australia were not_ inspected. 296. The neglect of such an important duty as inspection must be condemned, as it prevents an effective check on the accounts of country offices, and completely precludes the Department from possessing any knowledge of the efficiency or otherwise of the branches. It was acknowledged that some offices in New South Wales had not been inspected for a number of years. Inspection to be effective should be both frequent and systematic. 297: The continuous neglect of inspection is alleged to be the result of shortage of staff, and vour Commissioners consider that the Central Executive has been remiss in its duty in neglecting to make the necessa:y provision for an adequate inspectorial staff. . 2 9 8. The evidence discloses that the district inspectors have been employed on matters of a trivial nature (such as deciding the limitation or extension ofletter carriers' beats) to the neglect of more important work. . 299. The inspectors should be empowered to decide minor matters locally, instead of reporting to the Deputy Postmaster-General.

. 71

300. Requests were made by several witnesses that senior inspectors should act as reviewing officers of the work of district inspectors prior to the submission of their reports to the Deputy Postmasters-General. Your Commissioners are unable to recommend the adoption of this practice.

301. In this Report recommendations have been made which, if adopted, will enable .the Deputy Postmasters-General to obtain a closer personal knowledge of the branches under their control, and of the ne<·essity for increased facilities as reported on by the inspectors.

302. Senior Inspectors, in addition to their inspectorial duties, are responsible for the s.upervision of the caretaking and cleaning staffs of thP General Post Offices. Your Commissioners consider that this duty shonl

' , -, '

Senior Inspector no' to be


Removal or l.nap. proprlate duties rrom senior inllpector.


303. The designation "Senior Inspector" should be abolished, and Deslpatton NDior that of "Metropolitan Inspector" substituted, ==ry.

304. At present the inspectors' districts are too large and unwieldy to allow of reasonable inspection.

305. Your Commissioners recommend that the inspectorial statt' of Smaller dlatrlcta the Department be considerably augmented, and that smaller districts h<:: required. ·

306. Evidence was given to the effect that there was a strong disinclination on the part of officers of a suitable standard to apply for tl1e position of inspector, particularly for country work) and it W!lS contended that the salaries attached to the office are not sufficiently attractive to

obtain the class of officials required. Your Commissioners recommend that the Inspection Branch be staffed with high-class officers with commen· surate salaries.

High clau ollcml wanted.

· 307. Because inspectors are brought into close contact with puhlie =:::ctora and requirements these officials should be discriminative, and p0ssess progressive reqniremente. ideas.

308. For the purpose of more effective inspection your Commissioners Recommendatio11L recommend that-( 1) Each State be divided into smaller districts, to all ow of regular inspections.

(2) ,Each office b.e inspected at least once a year, the more important offices half-yearly or quarterly, according to their importance. ( 3) The metropolitan district be more strictly confined to the actual metropolitan ::trea; the in.spector in c;h;trge thereof not

to have control over district inspectors. ( 4) The position of Senior Inspector be abolished. (5) The Deputy Postmasters-General he responsible, for the inspec· tion of General Post Offices.

(6) Other arrangements be made the performance of the follow­ ing duties now undertaken by the senior inspectors :-(a) Inquiries re missing letters . . (b) Control of caretakers and cleaners.

(c) Control of messengers {supervisor of messengers to be appointed). (d) Boards of Inquiry and Appeal. (e) Condemned Materials Board. (f) Annual mail contracts. (g) Supervision of letter deliveries (inspector of letter carriers

to be appointed),

Officers not suf­ ficiently qualified.

Department remiss.

Methods not uniform.

Spasmodic attempts of Department.

System of book­ .keeping faulty.

Annual balance­ sheet required.



(7) Each district be in charge of a comuetent inspector with sufficient clerical assistance. .l

(8) Inspectors to report direct to Deputy Postmaster-General, but all minor matters to be decided locally, ( 9) Deputy Postmasters-General should visit districts themselves when necessary. ( 10) Inspectors be transferred triennia11y from district to district.

(ll) Arrangements be made with the Auditor-General to furnish postal inspectors with copies of audit reports on accounts of post offices, in order to avoid duplicate auditing.

AccouNTANCY BRANCHES. Accountants.

3 0 9. The Accounts Branches of mnst of the States are controlled by officers not sufficiently qualified in the work of accountancy. As these officers should be the financial advisers to their respective Deputy Post­ masters-General, it is essential that they should be of a high standard of proficiency. The necessity for efficient methods of accountancy is recognised by all mercantile concerns, 'hnt the Department has been lamentably remiss in failing to obtain the class of official requisite for the effective performancP- of these duties.

Unijormity rif Accounts.

310. As shown in the sections of this Report dealing with ment and Finance, the bookkeeping methods of the State branches of the Department are neither uniform nor satisfactory. Your Commissioners have already recommended the inauguration of a proper system of keeping accounts by the establishment of a capital account, and the allocation of expenditure between the several branches. Spasmodic attempts have been made by the Department to secure a uniform -system of accounts. The Committee which was appointed in 1908 for the purpose of attaining this end appears to have relinquished its efforts; although it was stated in evidence that its report would be ready in the early portion of last year.

311. The evidence discloses that there has not been a proper system of bookkeeping set out for the guidance of the Accountants in the States branches of the Department. This is a serious dereliction of duty on the part of the Central .Executive, and action should be taken to remedy the omission at the earliest possible moment. Your Commissioners consider that the establishment of a proper and uniform system of bookkeeping would result in economies, and that this matter should have received the early attention of the Central Executive. Your Commissioners recommend that this work he immediately undertaken by the Chief Accountant.


312. It should be the duty of the Chief Accountant to prepare an annual balance-sheet showing the finar..cial position of the postal, telegraphic, and telephonic sections of the Department. To attain this object it will be necessary to keep separate accounts of the expenditure of each of these three branches.

313. It was stated that the main difficulties which prevented the Department furnishing the required financial information were-(1)


(3) (4)

The employment of the same officers in the work of each branch of the Service, and the consequent difficulty of apportioning their salaries. The separation of expenditure on account of telegraph and

telephone maintenance and repairs. The absence of a knowledge of the capital outlay. The absence of a basis for apportionment of expenditure on sites,, and rent the poetal, telegraphic

1 aml

telephomc semces, ·


314. The a"Qove-mentioned difficulties are admittedly serious, hut. in the opinion of your Commissioners, they are not insuperable, and a determined effect to overcome them must be no longer postponed. Since the commencement of this inquiry it is reported that the Dep:utment has

attempted to overcome the difficulties mentioned.

315. It is most essential that the Department should be ahle to sbow

Determined eflon needed.

the finnncial position ofits branches, and the following recommendations are Rocommondatlons. made for the att..




Expenditure on account of salaries, wages, and contingeneit•s for postal, telegraphic, and telephonic services should he kept separate. Wlwre officers perform mixed duties a reeord should be taken of the time spent on each section for a tixPtl

period, such record to be made the basis of the apportionntt>nt of their salaries, subject to review from time to time.

Expenditure on account of telephonic and telegraphie mainten­ ance and repairs should be shown separately in the appropria­ tions, and in the departniental accounts.

The capital account has now been approximately determined hy the valuation of the transferred properties, together with expenditure on new works and buildings since Federation. The statistics quoted in this connexion in the Finance settioll

of this Report should serve as a basis on which to caleulatc the capital outlay of the Department.

Rent of buildings and interest and depreciation on on buildings and sites should be apportioned between the three sections of the Department on the basis of the space occupied by each section.

11£oney Orders and Postal Notes.

316. The volume of money order and postal note business transaeted shows great development, particularly in connexion with postal notes, as is shown by the following table :-


1901 .. .

.. .

1909 .. .


1901 .. . 1908 .. . 1909 .••

M on ey Orders .

Nu m l.Jer and Value.

Commh;slon .

Issued. r a id .

------ -----·

No. Yalue. N o. I Value.

1 ,3lK,000 £4,1!:13,000 1,339,000 1.£4,082,00 (1 ! *

1,437,000 £5,i33,000 1,402,000 £5,725,000 £49,986

1,459,862 £6,003,2ti5 1,4 25,35'/ £5,934,614 "

Notes .

:Kumher nnd ·value .

- - - - ----t.--- --- --- ----- - ---··· l'ound a


N o.

3,507,000 6,32 1,000 6,874,0!:!6


£1,290,000 .£2,392,000 £2,.j94,928

P a id .

! --- ----- --- ---- - -


3,505,000 ti,321 ,ooo 6,874,175

Va lue,

£1 ,2!:HJ,U00 £ 2 392,(100 £2,595,138 ! .£46,419


* In the i\nancial year 1901-2 the commis5ion Of! mon ey onl{lrs pouudp,g(l post!ll tontn!lr to £88,169, .. qd tn to ·



Money order work. 317. The opinion was advanced by some witnesses that money order

Telegraph money orders.

:Foreign money orders.

Swiss system of paying money orders.

Paying and collecting country accounts.

Money order offices to be closed Sa.turdays noon.

Simplification of system·

Duties to be transferred.

business i s quite distinct from th e ordinary work of the Post and T elegraph Department, a nd that it should for m part of the functions of a Post Office Savings Bank, if such were established. Other witnesses suggested that this work should be removed from the accountants' branches, and be formed into a separate branch. In view of the great public facilities afforded by the postal note and money order branch of the 1 }epartment, your Commis­ sioners cannot recommend any alteration of the present practice.

318. In some of the States requests were made that the Department should advise the payee of the remittance of telegraphic money orders, and that the presE.nt system of requiring two messages, at the expense of the remitter, should be discontinued. Your Commissioners consider that the

present system is preferable.

319. A witness a commercial firm in New South Wales

complained that the commission charged on money orders to Europe is four times as much as from Europe to Australia, and alleged that certain moneys now remitted by bank drafts would, under reduced charges, be transmitted through the Money Order Branch. Your Commissioners are unable to recommend any alteration in these charges: because the necessary financial information to form an accurate opinion on the question is not available.

320. Another witness stated that in Switzerland money orders are paid to the addressees by letter carriers. Your Commissioners recognise the advantage of this system, which saves the payee the trouble of

presenting the money order at the post office, and consider that, if pre­ cautions are taken to prevent fraud, a similar practice could be adopted in the Commonwealth. ·

321. Only in New South and Queensland does the Department use the Money Order Branch as a medium for paying and collecting accounts in country districts. Your Commissioners approve of this system. as it is an economical method, and recommend that . it be made uniform throughout the Commonwealth.

Closi'!ig ,}JoneJJ Order Offices at Noon on Saturdays. 322. A considerable amount of evidence was tendered by official witnesses, mostly in New South Wales, in support of closing money order offices at noon on Saturdays, of 5 p.m., as is now the practice.

Your Commissioners recommend that money order offices be closed at noon on Saturdays, as is now done at the · General Post Offices. If the weekly half holiday is not held on some other day in the week the public would be put to very little inconvenience by closing money order offices on Saturdays at noon.

Telegraph Checks.

323. The present practice of check-ing telegraph revenue is to select nine days in each month by ballot, and to audit the telegraph business of those days. Your Commissioners consider that one day each week, selected promiscuously, would be as effective as the present system, and would save .about 50 per cent. of labour in checking, and recommend accordingly.

Your Commissioners · recommend that a similar check on trunk line telephone conversations should be adopted.

Certifying and AuthoTizing Officers. . 324. It '\yas stated in evidence .that much of the time of Deputy Postmasters-General is occupied in signing vouchers as Certifying Officers under the Treasury Regulations. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that this work more naturally appertains to the State Accountants, to whom it should be transferred. The .work of Authorizing Officer (i.e., authorizing

the payment of accounts), now performed by the Department's State Accountants, should be transferred to the State Accountant's immediate subordinate.


Registration rif Accounts.

325. The Accountant oftheNew South Wales Branch expressed the opinion that the alphabetical register of accounts, prescribed under the Treasury Regulations, is unsuitable for so large a ·branch as the Genernl Post Office. He stated that the New South Wales Accounts Branch dealt

with 30,000 to 40,000 accounts each year ; that the present register l:u·ks completeness as a record ; that it is cumbersome as a check against douhh• payments, and that it entails an enormous amount of clerical labour. HP recommended a reversion to the former system of keeping · copies of accounts.

3 2 6. Your Commissioners are not in favour of imposing upon the public the duty of rendering claims in duplicate, and consider that til<• making of copies. of all accounts by the departmental officers would · as much labour as entering the accounts in the register.

32 7. In respect to the completeness of the record in the register, uo difficulty should be experienced in entering the accounts in sufficient detail to attain this end. For the purpose of providing a safeguard against the danger of double payments, .which arises from the number of accounts dt.•alt

with, your Commissioners suggest that a separate heading under the proper letter be kept in the present register for each person whose transactions with the Department are numerous.

Work rif Appointment Branch.

328. The Accountant in New South Wales complained that, under an amalgamation SC'heme, work was transferred to his branch from the


' ,... . ......

:Method ot rert&­ tratlon unsuitable and cumber110me.

Alteration not recommended.

System recommended.

miscellaneous and appointment branches. Your Commissioners consider Appointment that the work of an appointment branch, dealing, !tS it does, with staff' 1l114er

matters, should be immediately under the control of the Deputy Postma-ster- masters-General. General, as is proposed by your Commissioners in the section of this Report dealing with the duties of Deputy Postmasters-General.

Statistical WO?'k.

3 2 9. Statistical work should be delegated to a special section of the Accounts Branch, which should be responsible for the collection of statistics under the direction of the Chief Accountant, as recomme11ded in paragraph 223 of this Report:


Superintendent rif Mails.

330. In everv State there is attached to the General Post Office an officer entitled of Mails, and in the two more populous States

provision is made for an Assistant Superintendent of Mails. Several of these officers com}llained that they were eonfined too dosely to clerical work Too much clerical - work. to the neglect of supervisory work. Your Commissioners consider that the supervisory work of the Superintendent of Mails should receive primary attention, and under the section of this Report dealing with the responsi­bilities of heads of branches definite recommendations have been made. E.rpeditimts Handling rif Mail Matter. 331. The present practice is to convey mail matter arnvmg by and train to the respective General Post Offices for sorting or despatch. This imposes on the Department the re-conveyance of a able part of the mail matter to the railway stations and the wharfs. Th1s practice is a most expensive way of conducting the business, and involves considerable delay. Expensive and slow methods.

Jtecent action in Sydney.

Mail depots at railway stations.


332. Your Commissioners are aware that siuce the coinmenccment of this inquiry attempts have been made to cope with this aspect of the question in Sydney by securing accommodation for a Mail Deput at the l'entral Railway· Station.

:333. Your Commissioners recommend tl1at, for the purpose of expedition, in all the capital cities and large provincial towns accommoda­ tion should be secured adjacent to the principal railway stations for the receipt and despateh vf country and Inter-State mails. To render this proposal more etfecti ve, your Commissioners recommend the sorting of all Inter-State mails on the trains, and the installation of a pneumatic tube service between the proposed Mail Depot and the principal offices. Sorting to be done on trains. 334. In regard to inward oversea letters nrriving by the English

mail, the practice is to sort the letters on the trains between Adelaide and Melbourne, Melbourne and Sydney, and 'Vallangarm nnd Brisbnne. .Yolilr Commissioners consider that it would be advisable to sort tl1e English inward mails, as far as practicable, on the mail stenmer between Fremantle ami Adelaide. This arrangement, if adopted, would enable the South

Australian portion of the mails to be delivered on the day of arrind. These mails usually arrive at Adelaide on a Saturday, :md under the present practice are held over until the following Monday. The . sorting of the inward English mail on the steamer instead of on the train would provide increased facilities for sorting the Inter-State mails in transit. Arrauge­ ments should also be made for Inter-State letters to Hobart to he sorted in the train betweei1 Launceston and Hobart.

Advisable to sort English mail on steamer.

Different methods adopted.

Cost of motor service in Sydney.

Motor service in Melbourne.


Additional letter deliveries.

Transport qf Jlfail Matter.

335. Two systems are adopted by the Department for the transport of mail matter. In Sydney and Melbourne this work is done by the ·

Department, whi!e in all the other State capitals it is done by contract. In Sydney the transport of mail matter is by horf'c :md waggon, while recently in Mel bourne experin1ents have heen made with motor traction. .

336. The Deputy Postmaster-General of New South Wales furnished your Commissioners with an estimate showing that the annual extra cost of a complete motor service for the city of Sydney, to replace horses and . waggons, wou1d be about £7,500 per annum ; but, in the opinion of your

Commissioners, the charges for depreciation in this estimate are considerably overestimated. ·

3 3 7. From an estimate of the relative cost of horse and motor traction in Melbourne the Deputy Postmaster-General of Victoria concludes that there is an annual saving of about £30 per motor. In addition to

economy, motor traction confers the great advantage of expedition. In view of the practical experience of the transport of mail matter in .Melbourne by motor cars, your Commissioners recommend the use of this class of traction for mail transport purposes in Sydney and Melbourne.

338. \Vhen the postal business in other capital cities increases sufficiently, the substitution of motor traction for the existing contract system should be considered.

Mail Deliveries.

339. It was di scovered that certain anomalies exist in connexion with mail deliveries in the capital cities, notably in Brisbane and Sydney. In Sydney there are three mail deliveries daily as against four in Melbourne. Your Commissioners consider that a uniform practice should be adopted, and Sydney supplied with an additional delivery. The delivery of letters in Brisbane could with be re·arranged, and additional deliveries established.


Mail Contmcts and Contractors.

340. It was alleged by a Central Executive official that tltc cost of the conveyance of mails by rail throughout the Commonwealth has increased since Federation by £50,000 a year. An official in New Soutlt W stated that there was an increase in the mail contracts fol' tlmt State

for the :{ear 1908 over 1907 of 20 per cent., and for Hl09 an inct·ease of per cent. over 1908, amounting to about £7,600. It was also allt•ged

by an official in Queensland that mail contractors combined witlt a view to obtain higher prices.

341. Your . Commissioners consider that tlJe above-mentioned increases cannot be solely due to the necessary provision for a number of mail services, and to incrc>ased rates of wages. ThPy at'l' of the opinion that this aspect of the mail services should be compll't<·ly

reviewed, and in place of mail contracts being fixed for one year th(•y should be extended.

342. Your (" ommissioners are also of the opmron that a Board of Management would effect considerable economies by a more business-like treatment of this question.

343. It was stated by a witness in Kalgoorlie, Western Anstrnlia, that a driver employed by a local mail contractor was paid £2 a week, wlticlt is be1ow the local rate. The outside rate for similar services was said to lw £3 lOs. per Mail contracts provide for the payment of current rates

of wages by contractors, and your Commissioners consider that the Depart­ ment should rigidly enforce this provision.

34:4. A complaint was made in New South Wales that some mailmen employed in country districts cannot read and and that the regulation in this respect was disregarded. The truth of this statement was deniPd by the senior inspector of that State. Your Commissioners consider that care

should be taken hy the Department to see that this regul::ition is observed.

Registered Letters.

345. A request was submitted that the Department shoulcl issue receipts for registered letters instead of requiring the to make out n, form in duplicate. Your Commissioners cannot recommend any alteration of the present practice.

346. Evidence was received t!tnt in Sydney the practice is for the General Post Office letter carriers to obtain receipts for registered letters in a book, while suburban letter carriers obtain such receipts on slips. Witnesses alleged that, although not possessed of facilities for preservation

of receipts, they are responsible for the same for a period of six months. Your Commissioners recommend the extension of the General Post Office practice to nllletter carriers, and that when handing over receipt books a receipt should be given to the letter carriers.

347. In the United States of America letter carriers are empowered to register letters in residential suburbs on receipt of the usual fee. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that this practice could with considerable public advantage be adopted in the Commonwealth.

Unclaimed Mail Matter.


\ ,..... '

Increased cost ot maU services.

Complete review or mall servic:et needed.

Current rates ot should be


Regulation shoul.d be observed.

Registered letter receipts to be untronn.

348. Complaints were made by representatives of certain commercial Delays. firms in Sydney tliat considerable delay occurs in returning unclaimed trade mag·azines, which causes a loss to senders. It was claimed that this class of mail matter should be returned within a month.

Close adherence to regulation recommended.

Distribution to charitable institutions.

Forwarding of letters to dead letter office.

Departmental practice upheld.

Alleged abuse of poste restante privilege ..


349. Your Commissioners recommend the close adherence to the t-egulation goYerning this matter, which provides for the return of the articles within a month, and further recommend that postage be imposed on the return of such matter.

350. The existing practice of the Department is to return undelivered papers on payment of postage, otherwise they are destroyed. Your Com­ missioners approve of the system of imposing postage on returned papers, but recommend that, instead of destroying undelivered papers, a portion should be distributed to charitable institutions, and the balance sold a!'! waste paper, as is the practice in the United States of America.

351. In the principal offices the practice of the Department is to "call out" the addresses of undelivered letters to the assembled letter carriers, in order to ascertain if the addressees are known. If the addressees are not known, the letters are kept in the Post Office from one to four months, and if not claimed are eventually forwarded to the Dead Letter Office.

Your Commissioners recommend that if the calling out of addresses proves resultless, the letters should be immediately forwarded to the Dead Letter Office.

Trade CircvJars addressed to "Householder." 352. A request was Country Storekeepers' Associatiop.

of New South Wales that city firms .should not be allowed to post pric9 lists and catalogues to. country towns addressed simply ''Householder," but that the full name and address should be insisted on in each case.

353. Your Commissioners cannot recommend a departure from the present praetice, as the suggested alteration would be a restraint of trade, and would impose considerable labour and expense both on the sender and the Department. ·

Poste Restarde.

3 54. It was stated in evidence that the privileges of having letters addressed care of the Post Office, "to be left till called for," was abused, and that this privilege should either be limited or alJolished.

3 55. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the poste restante is a privilege more intended for the accommodation of strangers and travellers, and not for lengthy use by constant callers.

Rc:>mmendations. 3 56. Your Commissionersrecommend that the privilege free of cost should not be extended beyondsix months. Beyond that period a charge should be made by the Depa:ttinent for the service rendered. To minimise the possibility of the poste restante being used for. other than legitimate purposes, letters addressed to initials or to palpably names should not be accepted. ' ·

3 57. In regard to letters to your Commis­

sioners recommend that after the expiration .of three months these letters should be forwarded to the Dead Letter Office.

358. In cases where former box holders desire their letters to be addressed to posle nstanle the present practice of holding such letters indefinitely should be discontinued, and the privilege of holding letters until called for should be limited to a period not exceeding one week, after

which period such letters to be forwarded to the Dead Letter Office.

3 59. Circulars, papers, and all printed matter similarly addressed as in th,e precl:'ding section, should remain at the po.


Letter Bo.xes.

360. It was stated that the delivery of letters would be expedited if householders in towns and cities were compelled to provide letter·boxt>s. The Deputy Postmaster-General of New South Wales stated that in that State, if houses are more than · I 00 feet from the pathway, they must he

provided with letter-.boxes.


. ,.,

3 61. Your Commissioners recommend that the Post artd Telegraph Act be amended to make it compulsory on householders iu cities and towns to provide letter-boxes, wh ere residences are more than 50 feet from the pathway. By such a provision a considerable amount of work would he

removed from letter carriers, and the more expeditious delivery -of letters would result.

Letter-boxes to be provided.

Inquiry Fee for JJ/issing Art·icles.

362. Complaints were received regarding the imposition of an inquit·y fee of for missing postal articles. Instances were given where firms refused to meet this charge. Apparently there is no legal means of enf(m·­ ing it. Your Commissioners consider that this charge is both exacting and

irritating, and they recommend that it be abolished. As the fee is a Postal Convention matter, arrangements should .be made by the Postmaster-General to have it annulled. ·

Mail Bags and Seals.

363. The practice adopted by the Department is to seal mail bags

Fee shoUld bo abolished.

with sealing wax and tape. Your Commissioners consider this is a primitive Primitive system. system, and it appears to be to the health of the employes. It

was stated that in the United Kingdom and in other European countries lead seals are used for sealing- mail bags in preference to. wax, and this .is claimed to be a more economical method. Your Commissioners recommend Recommendation. the adoption of lead seals.

364. Fot mail bag labels the uniform practice in the Commonwealth is to use the Cole-Bentley label, which was adopted on the reports of Deputy Postmasters-General and senior inspectors. Your Commissioners were shown by an official employed at the General Post Office, Sydney, a model of a reversible label (hearing nap:1e of sending and receiving office) inserted Reversible label

in a metal sheath attached to a ring fastened to the of the mail bag. recommended. Your Commissioners consider this style of label an improvement on the one in use1 and belie\'e that its adoption would effect considerable savings.

Packet and Parcel Post.

385. The postage rate for ordinaty packets is ld. for every 2 ounces or fraction thereof. The weight is limited to 5 lbs. For parcels the Intra­ State rate is 6d. for the first lb., and 3d. for each additional lb.; for Inter· State parcels, 8d. for the first lb., and 6d. for each additional lb. The rate for oversea parcels is higher, ranging from ls. upwards per lb. The limit

or weight is 11 lbs. .

366. Packets, unless registered, are posted in the usual way . in a posting box or pillar., Parcels cannot be posted at posting boxes oi.' pillars, but must be banded in at a parcel post office. The Department enters all parcels, and forwards them with a waybill, and obtains receipts frotn

addressees. This involves considerable labour. Parcels practically treated as registered lette:rs at lower rates of postage than unregistered letters. This is an anomaly.

36 7. Many officials did not favour the parcel and packet post. being separate services. It was suggested that houses when forwarding should. furnish a duplicate list instead of the Department making out

Parcel and packet rates.

Posting of packets and parcels.


How £1,000 a year could be saved.

the list, the origiual to he retained by the Department, a.nd the duplicate returned as a receipt. A witness alleged that at least £1,000 per annum would be saved by the Department in the Victorian office alone if the practice of entering were abolished.

Abolition of elaborate, expen­ sive, and cumber­ some method.

368. Your Commissioners consider that the existing practice of treating parcel8 and packets as distinct services should he abolished in the interests of economy, and recommend that parcels should be· treated as packets, thereby Rholishing the present elaborate, expensive, and cumber­ some method.

Extent of compensation.

Extension recommended.

Responsibility and strain on sorters.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's opinion.

Qualifications of sorters.

3 6 9. Your Commissioners consider that the adoption of this recom­ mendation would result in considerable savings by the Department. The amalgamf!tion of the parcel and packet post ·would necessitate the remodelling of the rates, but, as your Commissioners have shown in paragraph 151 of this Report, they are unable to recommend a new scale of charges.

Departmental Liabilit1J:

370. Compensation for losses is confined to insured parcels, and to registered letters, packets, books, and newspapers. In the case of registered articles, the compensation which may be paid is limited to £2 in any one case. A leading official expressed the opinion that the Department escapes too much responsibility, and that the public should be more generously treated.

3 71. Your Commissioners recommend that the Post and Telegraplt Act be amended to give the Postmaster-General discretionary power to increase the indemnity for loss of registered articles, and to grant compensa­ tion for losses ' proved to be occasioned by telegraphic errors, or avoidable delays of messages, caused by the neglect of the Department.

LelteT Sorters' Duties.

3 7 2. Your Commissioners received evidence from representatives of Letter Sorters' Associations in every State of the Commonwealth except Tasmania. These witnesses asserted that their work involved a consider­ able amount of responsibility, imposed a sustained physical and mental and required almost complete concentration.

373. Further, it was stated that the work has greatly increased since Federation without provision being made for a commensurate increase of staff'. The Commonwealth Public Commissioner stated that the

work of sorting did not require a high mental equipment, and that there was not a great mental strain ; that it is a matter of memory principally ; that after a time a sorter can almost shut his eyes and throw the letter on one side ; and that " it strikes one at once that there is no great strain on the brain of the sc>rter."

37 4. Your Commissioners' opinion on this matter is that to efficiently perform the duties. of a sorter visual and manual dexterity, combined with accuracy and concentration of attention to prevent missorts, are essential. Your Commissioners do not consider this class of work merely automatic. Further, officers must, in order to be able to pass the sorting test and satisfactorily perform the work of sorting, possess ready and retentive memories. The extent to which the memory is taxed may be appreciated when it is known that the numbers of post towns sorters are required to memorize are as foliow :-

New South \Vales Victoria Queensland ... South Australia Tasmania Western Australia .. •,

2,438 2,363 1,437 665

421 368


S'i 5. to be efficient also require to possess a

geographical knowledge.

Jl1etlwds ol Sorting.

3 7 6. Since Federation the system of bag sorting, as recomnwnd('ll by a Sorting Committee in 1904, has gradually been adopted in all the large cities of the Commonwealth. Delay in its adoption in some plal"l'S has been occasioned by insufficient accommodation. This matter will lw

more fully dealt with under "Buildings and Accommodation."

3 7 7. Your Commissioners recommend that in the larger suhurl,an offices the system of night sorting should be adopted so as to enable tl1t> early despatch of inorniug mails.

Sorters' Salm·ies.

378. The salaries paid to sorters commence at £144, and advmwe by two £6 annual increments to £156. Senior sorters receive £162 with n £(; increment to £168. Despatching officers receive £17 4 with a £6 iucrenwut to £180. Mail officers are in two grades, namely,£192 to £2HJand .£2lli

to £228 per annum.

379. The average salary of sorters throughout the Commonwealth (including despatching officers) is £Hi2 per annum.

380. By common agrePment representatives of Letter Sorters' Associatioris in States other than Victoria refrained from. dealing (except by a general reference) with the question of salaries, and desired your Com­ missioners to· accept the evidence tendered by the Victorian Postal Sorters'

Union, as representing the views of the sorters generally on that matter. These representatives requested that the salaries of sorters he fixed :llt £1 ;,(; to £192, attainable by increments of £6 every two y'ears, with two long service increments of £6 each at intervals of five and ten years after attaining the maximum.

381. The following table was submitted, showing salaries paid and privileges given to sorters in other countries :-TABLE SHOWING SALARIES AND PRJVII.EGES IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

Rate of Salary.



£160 by annual incre- I In all cases


ments !


Glasgow , £ 156 by annual incre- II In aU case,;

[ ments

Chicago ... i 500 to 1,100 dollars ••• I Nil

Canada-First class ! 400 to 700 dollars to 5 per cent. off salary

despatch clerl

New Zealand ... £200 by increments- In all cases

I six of £10, four of

Australia ...

£5, three of £10 Sorter, Grade I., £144 to £156; Sorter,

Grade II, £162 to

£168; Despatching Officers, £174 to I


Two-thirds of sorters are in Grade I.;

one-third of sorters are in Grade II.

No pensions or retiring allowances are provided under Australian classification. * Medical attendance is provided for sorters and others in London.

Six months fnll ;

six months half Six months f111l ; six months half Nil

Six months fnll ;

six months half Very liberal

382. The Commonwealth Public Serviee Commissioner stated in evidence that the contention of the sorters7 representatives that the 1:\ ew Zealand sorters received higher salaries than the Commonwealth sorters is F.8564. F

Bag sorting.

Night sortlng recommended.

Salary requested by sorters.

New Zea1and and Australian sorters' salaries compared. not borne but by the New Zealand Post Off-ice Classification 1908--9, and

that such classification slHnYs that 4 .') per cent. of the sorters are receiving less salary than the minimum for Australia (£1H ), and that the average salary in New Zealand is £148 as against £162 in the Commonwealth.

Position in New Zealand.

Commissioners' recommendation.

383. From an examination of the New Zealand Post and Departmental List, 1908-9, your Commissioners discovered that a number of sorters now in receipt of £180 will reach the maximum of £200 per annum, in accordance lrith the Post and Telegraph Clrtssi/ication Act 1907.

This Act came into force in April, 1908, and pro\'ides that officers in the Non-Clerical Division may fl'LI tn £2ou per mmmn in fifteen years by £10 increments.

384. Your Commissioners consider that when the New Zealand Classifieation comes into full effect it will provide liberal treatment to this class of officer than does the Commonwealth Cl assification.

385. Your Commissioners recommend that tl1e minimum salary for sorters be £150 per annum, and the llll'IXimu.m £190 per annum, with biennial increments of £8.

Recommendations re despatching and mail o:t11.cers.

386. The representatives of the Sorters' Association elni!Hed that the salaries paid to despatching officers should be from £198 to £225. Your Commissioners recommend that the salaries of this class of officer should he £200 per annum. The representfttives also elaimed tlwt tQe paid to mail officers should be ti·om £234 to £250. Your Commissioners recommend that the salaries be from £210 to £240 bv annual increments

Sorting conditions.

Inequitable charac­ ter of sorting test.

London sorting test.

"Promotion on 'Character of work

of £5. ,;

Sorting Tests.

7. T"'O sorting tests prqvided, viz.:- ( 1) For Jetter

desiring to qq.f!,ljfy as sorter& ; (2) for sorters wishing to qq::j,lify for promo­ tion to senior rank. Under the first test eandidates are now reqnired to i>ort 500 letters at the rate of 30 a minute ; under the seco11d test sorters are now requireq tq sort letter!'\ ftt the rate of45 a minq.te. In hoth instances there is a maximum allowance of 2 per cent. pf and metropqlitap l:lnd suburban letters are excluded from the test.

388. Priqr to 1st May, 1909, each candidate had to pass a test on the total numher of the post towns and receiving or intercpange offices of the State in which he was examined. The inequitable character of this test is obvious. The salary was uqiform, but the cl1aracter of the test was not. For instauce, State of New South vV ales has 2,438 post towns, while Western Australia has only 368.

389.. Your Commissioners are surprised that these inequitable condi­ tions remained so long in existence. It was stated in evidence the

sorting test in London requires the sorting of.l,OOO cards in thirty minutes for junior sorters, and 400 cards in ten for senior sorters.

390. In dealing ·with the question of sorting tests your Commissioners met with the difficulty that, under t4e pr13sent systqn of grading, however qualified a sorter may become, it is impossibl e for him to reach the position of senior sorter (Grade II.) unti I there is a vacancy.

3 91. Your Commissioners consider that in granting promotion the officer's work should be the main guide, and that promotion should be based on the recommendation of the Staff Coinmittee. Your C01mnissioners recommend that the test for senior sorters be abolished, and that advance­ ment depend upon the eharact«:r of the work done h,v each indiridual



G 9 2. Your Commissio.p.ers :recommend the entrance test t'or tlw position of sorter should be of ten minutes' duration, at the rate of cartls a minute, with an allowance of 3 per cent. for missorts.


393. A representative of the Letter Sorters' AsRociation eornplained test cards become sticky through excessive handling, rendering the

passing of the test more diffi cult.

Sorting cards Mtlcky.

394. Your Commissioners recot11\ll ep d the. Depnrtnw11t shouhl see, wb en the test is being applied, that the t est cards are free fi·om su<'h objections. Further, your Commissioners consider thnt the eards should he enclosed in in order to make the test approach as nearly as

possible to the sorters' working conditions.

Promotion of Lette1 · Sorters.

395,. Complllints were made throughout the Commonwealth tlutt the present system of gradin:g is a serious hindrance to adv;:tncement, two-thirds of ttw sorters being in Grade I., one-third in Grade II., or nf seuior

sorters. The Conunonwealth P.uolic Service Courmission,er contended that there is nothing to prevent sorters obtaining to the positions of

senior sorters in fifteen years, owing to retireme11t aud expansion of tltc Department. . '

396. A responsible official in th e Mail Branch, New South Wales, stated that Gr11de l· sqrters do sarne work Grade U. sorters, and thnt are compelled to wait too long fop ppomotion. The only ::tvenues of

prorr10tio11 now open to senior sqrte1·s, witholl.t passing the clerical examina .. tion, are tl10se of despatch officer and mail officel\ but the vacancies ordi­ narily occurring in these positions are not numerous.

3 £) 7. Y op.r Commissioners }l ave !llre!ldy recomme11ded, under the sectiqn dealing with tests for thM the gqtde be abolished,

and that pfficers be promoted by reason of merit !'hown in work.

Travelling Post Offices.

398. Representatives of Sorters' Associations contended that the position of travelling sorter is as responsible as that of postmaster, many mails being recei\'ed and despatched in transit. Travelling sorters frequently have charge of valuable packets, in cluding, ip some States,

parcels containing gold.

8 9 Y O\lr Commissioners consider that in charge of mail

vans shQtdd be of the rank of despatching officer. Where it a common practice tq cqqsign valuable registered parcels, such as parcels co11taining gold, two officers should be provided.

Sorters' Hours.

40Q. The hours of sorters are as follows :-(1) Continuous day work between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.-five days at nine hours, with half-an-hour off for lunch, and one day of four hours, equal to 46! hours per week, or 93 hours per

fortnight. This coincides with the ordinary hours of the General Division. (2) Broken hours between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.---five days eight and a half hours, with half-an-hour for lunch, and one day four

hours, equal to 44 hours per week, or 88 hours per fortnight. (3) Broken hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.-five. dayS, ;:tt eight honrs, with half-an-hour off fpr refreshments, one day fonr hOl-ll'S, equal to 4) pqurs per week, Of 8& hours per


Cards should ba enclosed in envelopes.

Gradilllt IUifiOI&I bar to


Sorters' avenues of promotion.

Responsibility of tra. velling sorters.

Travelling sorter to be of status of despatching officer.

Disabilities of sorters.

Broken hours said to be unavoidable.


Arduous and responsible duties.

Letter carriers' loads.

( 4) N"ight work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.-six days at sevE!l1 hours, with half-an-hour offfor refreshments, equal to 39 hours per week, or 78 hours per fortnight. Equivalent time off, or, in the event of tl1at being impracticable,

overtime is allowed as follows (1) and (2)-For time employed in excess of an aggregate of 93 hours per fortnight. (3) and ( 4 )-For time employed in excess of an aggi:egate of 83 hours per fortnight. Broken hours are defined as one break exceeding two hours in the

day's work, or two breaks exceeding one hour each. An officer working less than the daily hours above mentioned may be called upon to perform additional duty within the fortnightly aggregate, provided that on any one day he is not compelled to

work more than nine liours.

401. Complaints were made by the sorters' representatives that their hours are too long. lt was claimed that night work (which is common in the sorting branch) is most trying on account of the artificial light, and that time worked at night should be calculated as time and a quarter.

402. 1\ umerous complaints were recei\-·ed in regard to l)roken time, it being alleged that a day's work on broken shifts is often spread over a period of from fourteen to sixteen hours.

403. The sorters' representatives requested that the hours for continuous day work be 84 per fortnight ; for night work 72 per fortnight ; and that broken time be abolished, or the hours reduced. It was requested by some witnesses that 'hours be computed on a weekly instead of a fort­ nightly basis.

404. It was stated in evidence by responsible officers that broken time in sorting is una voidable, owing to the irregularity of the arrival and despatch of mails, ·and that more favora,ble hours for broken sl!ifts could not be arranged on account of staff shortage.

405. Your Commissioners consider that a day's work shonld not be spread over so long a period as fourteen hours, and that broken time should be avoided as much as possible by providing adequate staff to deal with the work. Where broken shifts are unavoidable the period during which they are worked should be limited to twelve hours. Your Commissioners recom­ mend that the hours he computed on a weekly basis, and he as follows :-

For continuous day work For night work For broken shifts For work beyond these hours overtime should be paid.

Lettn· Carriers' Duties.

Maxhnum per week.

44 hours 36 hours 40 hours

406. In the evidence given by the representatives of the Letter Carriers' Associations throughout the Commonwealth it was claimed . generally that the duties of letter carriers were arduous and responsible, and required the exercise of tact and courtesy. Some representatives contended that the work of a letter carrier involved considerable mental strain.

407. Your Commissioners regard this class of work as chiefly requiring expedition and civility, and they consider tltat the plea of responsibility can be sustained to the extent that letter deli \'ering is a position of trust. 'With referenee to the Jaboriousness of the work, it was alleged that the loads now carried by letter carriers are much heavier than

prior to Federation. Your Commissioners consider that the Superin­ tendent of Mails should see that only a reasonable load is imposed.

r; • ·- - - -

Letter Ca1Tiers' Sala1'ies.

. 408. Representations were made by the Letter Carriers' Association.<; m all_ the States that the present salaries are too low. The witnesses were pract1cally unanimous as to the amount of salary that they considered Salaries aald to be

too low.

commensurate with their work -

. 409. It ·was requested that the existing maximum of £150 per annum 1?creased to £156, attainable by yearly increments after receiving the

mmunum wage of £110 per annum. It was contended that under the scheme letter carriers appointed at eighteen years of age at a salary

ot £(50 per annum about twenty-five years to reach the maximum.

Increase of maximum aal&q requested.

410. A witness for the Letter Carriers' Association of New 8ont.h Wales stated that there were letter carriers in that State receiving £110 to £115 a year who had given sixteen to twenty years' service, and that it wou!d these officers another seventeen years to reach the prcseut

maximum of £ i 50.

Advancement alow.

411. The Commonwealth Public Service CommissiOner submitted a table showing that the average rate of pay of letter carriers has increased under Federation, anu stated that t4e Commonwealth average· in the year 1901 was £110, and in the year 1909 £122. These averages vary iu the Average salaries.

States as follo\v :- ·

N ew Sout1J 'N ales Victoria Queensland South Australia

W estern Australia Tasmania

£125 130 122 126

128 125

412. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner c0)1tendeu commonwealth that under the present scheme letter carriers can advance from £110 to Pu 0 £150 · b · · h . ] f omm sa oner 11 m a out 21 years, attammg t e maximum at approx1mate y 40 years o view. age. This witness stated that he fi xed the maximum value of a letter carriers' work at £1 26 per annum, any payment beyond that amount being regarded as a solatium to slow and unambitious officers who do not secure promotion to · higher positions. 413. Representatives of the Letter Carriers' Association quoted rates paid in other countries in support of their claim for. an increased rate of pay . In the United States of America letter carriers' salaries are said to range from £125 to £250, and in New Zealand from £1LO to £200, with an extra 6d. a day after fifteen years' service. 414. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner denied the accuracy of the statement that the letter carriers of !\' ew Zealand received a higher salary than those of the Commonwealth, and stated that the average salary in New Zealand is £104, and in the Commonwealth £122 . . He further stated that the letter carriers of the Commonwealth have opportuni­ties of promotion in the hi gher grades of the General Divisi0n, there being 868 positions u.s sorters, despatching officers, and mail officers, with a maximum salary of £228, to which they m:ty rise, while in New Zealand th ere are only eleven General Division positions superior in grade to letter carriers in their line of promotion, and the maximum sal:lry provided for these higher positions is £200 per annum. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner calculated that, if the· New Zealand Classification were adopted in Australia, it would mean an immediate reduction of £26,964 in th e salaries of Australian letter carriers. 41 5. Under the Common wealth Classification scheme a letter carrier of eighteen years of age commences at £60 a year, and after three years' service at £110 (wbi<;:h amol.lnt is received at 21 years of age) h e advances to Pay 1n other


Comparative rates of pay ln the Commonwealth and New Zealand.

Salary progress of letter carriers.

Work value of letter carrier.


Opportunities not given.

Progress of letter carriers.

Speed and accuracy required.


£114, and thence to £126 .by two £6 annual increments. After three years' service at £126 per annum, he is advanced to £132, and thence to £138 after another year's service. Two long-service increments, of £6 each subject to good conduct and efficiency, are also payable at intervals of five years after twenty years' service, thus bringing the maximum pay of a letter carrier up to £150.

416. In arrivirtg at a recomtnendatioh of what is a just salary for a letter cattier, yonr Commissioners are influenced by the work value alone, and not by the lerigth of sel'vice, and consider that the work value of a letter carrier is greater between 25 and 30 years of age tha.n after that period.

41 7. Y out Cori1missionets cannot accept the dictum of the· COii1inon­ wea1th Public Service Commissioner that any kind of increased payment should be paid as a solatium to slow and UiHtmbitious officers. They recommend that the maximum of £150 now existing should rem:tiv 1 but be made possible of attainment by efficient officers at a much earlier period.

418. Your Commissioners recommend that after reRching 21 years of age, and receiving£ 110 a year, the present thtee years' service at that salary he reduced to two years, and then by eight annual increments of £5 letter carriers should advance to the maximum of £150.

Letter Opportunities fur Advancement.

419. Representatives of Letter Carriers' Associations COmplained that opportunities are not given them to learn sbrting and qt:tali(y for promotion to the rank of sorter, and that those letter carriers desiring to become sorters are compelled to wait uutil they are senior letter carriers.

420. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner in rebuttal of this evidence stated that the average service of the last 40 letter carriers promoted to positions as sorters was 17 years, and that twelve of

tbein had not reached the maximum of letter carriers. He stated that a nurhbet _of in cout1try suburban offices have qualified for sorters by passmg 'the test. He further stated that the average age of the last twenty letter carriers promoted as sorters in Victoria was .19 years ;- that since July, 1904, 60 Jetter carriers have been promoted, but in the sntne period the junior officer in the grade has seen 218 vacancies occur above him ; juniors of 18 years of age in 1904 will 011ly be 38 years of age \vhen their turn for promotion to sorter artives ; that the avetage dcctittenee of vacalicies is 3 per cent. or I 00 vacancies per annum ; and that. a letter carrier commencing at 18 years of age will at 43 years have attamed the rank of sorter.

421. Your Cotnmissioliers recognise that the opportUnities of pro­ motion to the rank of sorter ai;e necessarily very few, but they hold the opi11ion thnt the special duties of a sorter are such that speed and accuracy, llecessitating the possession of both visual and manUal dexterity, are essential.

422. Your Commissioners therefore recommend that letter carriers, aftei· reaching the age of 21 years, be provided ·with opportunities to qualify for any va.eancy occurring in the sorting branch ; and that the Department should supply Jetter carriers desiring to qlialify for sorters with the necessary diagrams and cards to enable them to practise i11 their own time. Your Commissioners further recommend that before bejng tested a short probationary period he allo1-ved candidates in actual sorting work.

423. Your Commissioners have been informed that in the Sydney General Post Office a somewhat similar svstem to the ahove recentlv been adopted1 and they recommend its apJ;lication throughout the wealth. · , ·


Letter CcHriers' H'OUrs ..

424; The regulation hbuts are 88 per fortnight, but overtime or tilut· in lieu cannot be claimed until 96 hour& have been wdrked; were made of broken shifts, resulting in a day's work being spread ove1· periods ranging up to fifteeti hours. It was also alleged that as overtimt• is not recognised until after % hours have been worked per fortnight there

is a tendency to make that number of hours the mihimum.

425. Your Commissioners consider 44 hours a week fa,ir hours for letter ca.rriers1 and recommend that staff adequate to contimn with these hoilrs should Be provided; In this division of the service hrokt•n time is unavoidable, but your Commissioners recommend that broken shifts

should_ be limited-to periods of ten hours a

Letter Cah•ier.f B eats.

428. Complaints were made that the beats were tthequal, a11d thnt the erection of large ·new· buildings i11 cities accentuated this inequnlity. ) our Commissioners recommend that the beats be made equal as tiu· ptacticable, and that this question be frequently reviewed to cheek inequali­

ties, and to distribute the work more equitably.

Inspection of Letter Carriers.

427. For the effective supervisitm of letter carriers it is that a regular and efficie11t s_ysteth of inspectio11 be established. the States the present system of inspection is itiadequate.

imperntiv<' !n most t1f

428. Your Commissioners recommend that of letter carriers be appointed in capitals and other large cities. In addition to super-. visory duties these officers should advise the Superintendent of Mails wh(•JI the adjustment of letter carriers' beats is necessary, and also prevent

by telegrap h messengers. Your Commissioners consider that senibr letter carriers would inake suitable officers for this class of work.

lJiail Drivers and Grooms in Charge. 429. Thl3 present salaries of mail drivers are-£60 to £110, by four :l.rinual incrl3ments; three years at £110, then advance to £114; to £126 by two annual increments of £6; three years on £126; theuce to

£132, with one annual increment of £6 to £138. Two long-service incre-ments of £6 each are provided after t\venty years' service to £150, five years being served on £138, and five years on £144. It takes fourteen yeats to reach £138 from £60, and 30 years to reach £150.

430. Grooms in charge receive £132, with £6 increm ent to £138, and long-service increments to £150.

431. Evidence was given by the representatives of the Victorian Mail Drivers' Association that the ptesent salary of mail di'ivers is inadequate that the maximum of £ t50 will take eleven vears and upwat'ds to reach : that they have little prospect of advancement "to higher positions, and they.

requested that they should advance after reaching the minimum salary of £110 per annum to a maximum of £156 by annual increments .. . Jhese witnesses claimed that mail drivers have not the sam e o}1portuintles for advancetnent as 6Utside Carters, and that their work is arduous and


43 2; These ·witnesses claimed that grooms in charge should receive a minimum salary of £162, and a maximum of £168 per annum.

' ,.,

Broken ahlf'ta.

Recommend& tlon.

Beata ehoulcl be uniform.

l.Jlspectlon inadequate.

Recommend& tloo..


Mail-drivers' reiitesbii.iittte 'I reiliieiib.

433 .. Your Commissioners recommend that the salaries for mail R9commmd&ticma. drivers be placed on the same basis as recbmmended for letter carrieh, paragraph 418, and that grooms in charge be paid .£156 per annum.


Luads on Portm·s.

434. The representative of the Mail Drivers' Association of New South Wales stated in evidence that boys are at times called upon to handle 6-ft. mail bags, weighing over 1 cwt. when fill_ed, and another witness said that mail bags from the General Post Office to North Sydney were at times too heavy to lift, owing to their containing heavy printed matter, Sl.lCh as telephone lists. These loads should be fairly proportioned, and prompt attention should be given to this matter. Inter-State mails are handled in

bags of 4 feet dimensions, and the normal size of mail bags in the United Size of mail bags.. States of America and Italv is 4 fe et. Your Commissioners r ecommend should be reduced. that the mttil bags of the be limited to similar dimensions.

Highly qualified technical officers required.

Salaries not adequate.

Disabilities of elec­ trical engineers.

Engineering functions circumscribed.


435. In addition to examining State electrical engineers and assistant engineers your .Commissioners personally inspected the works immediately under the control of these officers in the capital city of each State.

436. Owing to the great expenditure involved in construction work and the intricate nature of the services, your Commissioners consider that the Electrical Branch requires the services of highly-qualified technical officers. This necessitates the payment of sufficient salaries to attract the class of engineers requisite to secure sound methods of construction and control. The Department has in some degree reeognised this by providing salaries for these positions slightly in excess of those given to the heads of other branches. The salaries attached to these offices are-

N ew South Wales Victoria Western Australia Queensland

South Australia Tasml'tnia

£725 700 560 520 500 360

43 7. In the opmwn of your Commissioners these salaries are not adequnte for the offices, if the officers holding them fulfil their pr·)per technical duties.

438. The Electrical Engineer's Branch comprises the following · sections :-Electrical Engineering. Mechanical Branch.

Construction and Maintenance. Telephone Branch.

439. It was discovered that all the State Electrical Engineers were restricted by a great amount of and administrative work to the

, detriment of their technical and supervising duties. Their branches were under-staffed in all the States, and it was alleged that these professional officers worked hours in excess of those which any business firm or corpora­ tion ·would demand. The employment of valuable officers on detail work, which should have been delegated to subordinates, shows a disregard of proper organization.

440. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the unsatisfactory condition of the telegraphic and telephonic services may be, to some extent, traceable to the fact that these officers have been circumscribed in the exercise of their engineering functions. The close confinement of these officers to minor work prevents their having any reasonable opportunity to effect improvements and economies,

441. To enable the State Electrical Engineers to cope with thP important practical side of their work they should be relieved of minor duties, such as the supervision of the telephone traffic and and the

control of the construction staff.

442. The State Electrical Engineers should be afforded ample oppol'tuuity for inspection, not only in the metropolitan area, but in country districts, the importance of the work warrants it.

443. In South Australia representntions were made that li11e eoll­ struction and maintenance should be removed from the direet control of tlH' Electrical .Engineer and p-laced in charge of a sepantte official. Your Colll­ missioners are of opi!lion that the greatest economy and efficiency would lw

secured by the appointment of engineers for lines directly responsible to the Electrical Engineers, such as is now the practice in most ofthe

444. A grave defect in . tl1e State Electrieal Engineers' Branehes the absenee of properly equipped workshops, and trained staff. Till' necessity for proper provision in this respect will be amplified under tlw Rections of this neport dealing ·with ''Training."

... , .. -

Providing opportunttic" or in8pection.



Scriollll dcf

445. Your Commissioners received complaints of shortage of Shortage of permnnent staff' in the engineering branch in every State, the result of permanent such shortage being that the Department was compelled to attempt to carry on with untrained temporary men in the construction and fitting

sections. The responsible officers of these branches stated that the necessary staff had been requisitioned for but not provided.

446. The Electrical Engineer for New South declared that

the working of his branch "\'l'as hampered through want of staff in til(• engineering, construction, and telephone sections. He pointed out tlwt the engineering work was sufferin g through want of sufficient supervising staff, and that assistant engineers, and senior inspecting officers, thoup.h applied for, had not been granted. The fitting staff' was also stated to be

inadequate. The Construction Branch was declared to be seriously undermanned, about 7 5 more linemen and line foremen being required. In the Telephone Branch there was said to be a shortage of attendants :md monitors. In this State the branches under the control of the Electrical

Engineer were alleged to be undermanned to the extent of some 300 officers.

44 7. The Victorian Electrical Engineer stated that he required four or five additional clerks to relieve the assistant engineers from clerical work. Additional officers were also required as follows :-Fitters and for country telephone exchanges.

Permanent maintenance parties. Telephone monitors. Telephone supervisors for branch exchanges.

New South Wales branch undermanned.

The Victorian branch was stated to be undermanned to the extent of 250 Victorian branch officers. undermanned.

448. Tbe Queensland Electrical Engineer stated tha.t required another assistant engineer, two junior assistant engineers, two line inspectors, and three clerks.

449. In South Australia the following· additional officers were said to be necessary in the Electrical Engineer's Branch :-Two junior assistant engineers, another lineman in each of the five principal maintenance parties, a foreman instrument titter, and another senior instrument fitter.

450. In Western Australia more clerks, line inspectors, and fitters required, the total shortage being stated to be 46 officers.

Further shortages of staff.



451. The Tasmanian Electrical Engi11eer said that he required an assistant engineer, seven instrument fitters, and nine linetneu.

45 2. As alreadv stated, considerable increases have beeh rt1ade to the permanent staff the Department during the course of this investi­ gation. Your Commissioners recommend that the permaneht . staff of the Electrical Engineers' Branches should he put on an adequate basis without further delay. ·


453. Since Federation the work of the Department has increased Great di1ticulty in ·enormously, and the Department has found great difficulty in .coping with meeting public public demands. The great difficulty i11 these demands is most

demands. '-'

pronounced in the Telephone Branch. Prior to granting increased facilities

House count system.

Studying future developments.

How construction and maintenance work is done.

The more economical system.

Thorough mainten­ ance of lines imperative.

by the reduction in rates, proper care should be taken to make provision for extra staff, materials, and equipment.

454. It was stated in evidence that American Telephone Companies have a special staff to study require111ents fifteen years ahead. There is a system known as the "House count system," under which . districts are inspected, the number of telephone services assessed, together with the probable number within fifteen years, a.nd maps are prepared accordingly, and the 1lecessary provision made for switch board accommodation and cables for distribution of lines. This system has been instituted by the Central Executive in the Common.wealth, but it is stated that little has been accom­ plished in the matter owing to want of staff.

455. Your Commissioners are of the opnnon that the Department should be equipped with a developmental staff attached to the Chief Electrical Engineer's Branch, and tbat each State Electrical Engineer should be provided with an assistant engineer to study developments of the tele­ graphic and telephonic services.

456. In regard to ordinary postal business the ·difficulty generally occurs through want of sufficient accommodation and staff. Your Commis­ sioners have tendered definite recommendations dealing with these dis­ advantages under their proper headings.

Construction and Jl1aintenance.

457. This section of the Electrical Engineer's Brtmch IS condlicted under different conditi011s in the several S-tates. In some States con­ struction and maintenance work is carried out by contract, while in others this class of work is performed departmentally. Some leading ofHcials recommended that the men employed by the Department in ·. construction work should be placed on an unestablished list, as they wei'e of the opinion that the fluctuatin g nature of construction work rendered it inadvisable to establish a large permanent staff. -

458. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the more efficient and economical svstem is for construction and maintenance work to be executed, as far possible, by a departmental staff. Any exceptional demand of a distinctly temporary character for construction work could be met by the employment of additional men until the completion of the work.

459. The thorough maintenance of lines is imperative to secilre ah efficient tel<'graphic telephonic service. Tlw lamentable condition of liues has hecn dcscf'ihed in tl1i:-: Report n llder tlw heading of" Finance,"

paragraphs 107 ·to 124.

460. It was stated that at the irtceptioil of the Commonwealth the State Electrical Engineers' Branches had the following mainten:tnl'(' parties :-New South Wales

Victoria Queensland • South Australia "\V estern Australia



Four parties None Ten parties Nine ,,

Not stated Six parties ·

46 1. The Electrical Engineer for Victoria stated that he has

continuously applied £01' the appointhieht of permanent maintenance parties, and that in 1907 four such parties were appointed.


462. Your Commissioners are of the opmwn that additional Additionnlliue maintenance parties should be appointed in N e'v South Wales, Victoria, parties required. and Western. Australia, and that the existing parties should be strengthened. Sufficiently staffed permanent parties wonld, in the opinion of your

tend to give better results than does the contract

T echnicul Matters.

463. A considerable amount Of technical evidence. was subii:litted in regard to construction, including poles; cross-arms, sags, spans, iron and copper wire, pole preservation, &c. In regard to technical matters youl' Commissioners do not feel competent to r ecommend any change in tlw

methods adopted by the Electrical Engineers, beyond stating that iron poles should be mote extensively used, eSiJecially ih cotintty districts, where poJes are subjected to ravages by white ants and dan1ag tl. by bush fires.

Linemert's Duties.

464; Evidence wa,s given by representatives of AssociatiollS in several States to the effect that linemen's work is far more and important

than that of many other sections of the General Division, and that the responsibility of linemen has increased considerably during recent years. The witnesses contended that the nature of their occupation exposes them to risks unknown in other branches of the Service, partic.ulady in cities,

there is a danger of coming into contact with high voltage electric


46 5. T,he :tepresentatives of the Linemen's A ssociatioh in New South Wales alleged that serious accidents have occurred owing to the limited experience of officers in charge of the work, and to want of knoWledg e on the part of their assistants, and to the want of proper equipment . . It was

admitted by the Electrical Engineer for New South Wales that accidents to linemeh have been more· frequent of recent date than formerly. It was stated by the linemen that they take every precaution to avoid accidents .

. ·.· 466. In order to minimize the possibility of accidents, and to secure effectiYe working, your Commissioners consider that it is essential that officers in charge of work be men of experience, and that the linemen be with proper e quipment. ·

46 7. Y out Commissioners are of the opinion that linemen employed in country districts wol'k under less fa·vorable conditions than those employed in n:ibre populous centres, and r ecomrnerid thatlineillen who have served a stated period in country di stricts should have the opportunity of transfer to

city parties.

468. Your Commissione1·s consider that, at main centres, it would be advisable for the Department to establish some defined system of training its men in construction work. Such a method, if adopted, would make for increased efficiency and ecortotny in carrying out construction work.

More extensive use of iron poles recommended.

Responsibility of linemen.

Acciaeiitil to linemen.

Men of experience to be in charge.

Transfer of country linemen.

Definite system of training.

Instructions in book form.

Waterproof clothing.

Wages paid to poledresserl!.

New Zealand salaries.


469. Complaints were made that typewritten instructions, as now supplied to linemen, are unsatisfactory, being at times uudecipherable. Your Commissioners recommend the printin

470. in the performance of their duties are frequently

exposed to wet weather, your Commissioners recommend that the Department should snpply them ·with waterproof clothing.

Pole Dres.sing.

4 71. Your Commissioners received evidence in Melbourne from ship­ wrights, formerly employed as poledressers, who stated that the work of pole-dressing is not now so well done as formerly. The departmental officers stated that this class of work was efficiently performed by linemen who had had a training in the work. It was also stated that the average wage paid in Victoria for this work is 8s. 5d. a day, as compared with 1 Os. a day formerly paid to shipwrights.

4 7 2. Your Commissioners consider that the wage now paid for this class of work is not sufficient, and should be increased, and that it would be preferable and more economical to employ tradesmen for the work at standard rates of pay.

Linemen's Salaries.

473. The present salaries of linemen are as follows :-The mmnnum salary is £114 per annum, with two annual £6 increments to £ The

next grade is £132, with one increment to £138, and provision is made that officers of twenty years' service may be granted, after five years on £138, a long service increment of £6, and another £6 after a second five years' service. Thus it would take a lineman thirty years to get £150 a year,

providing he did not qualify in the meantime for promotion. The greater proportion of linemen are now on a salary of £126 per annum.

474. Senior linemen commence at a salary of £144, and advance to £156 hv two annual increments of £6 each. A line foreman's salarv is £162, with one increment to £168. Provision is made in the Classification for line inspectors at £174 to £180, £192 to £210 by three £6 annual increments, and £216 to £228 by two £6 annual increments. There arc

three other grades of line inspectors, viz :-£234 to £240, £252 to £276, and £282 to £348.

47 5. It was stated that in New Zealand the rates of pay were­ Linemen, £130 to £170 per annum; foremen, from £1b0 to £200 per annum.

4 7 6. A witness in South Australia stated that officers entitled line foremen performed work classified in other States as line inspector's work.

4 7 7. Your Commissioners consider that the present grading is inequitable, because the nature of the work in the various grades of linemen is practically identical. Your Commissioners recommend the abolition of grading, and are of the opinion that adequate salaries would he as follows :-

Linemen £120 to £156, by six biennial increments

Line Foremen

Line Inspectors,.,

of £6 each. .£168 to £19:!, by three biennial incre­ ments of £8 each. £200 to £350, according to the import.

ance of the post held.

' .. ' \ ,.,., '



Telephone Management and Manap,·e1·ts. . 4 '7 8. Your Commissioners found that there is an absence of uniformity Lack of uniformity m the management of the Telephone Branches. There is, under the control of management. of the Electrical Engineers. a telephone manager for the metropolitan

exchanges of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. In South Australia and "\Vestern Australia the State Electrical Engineers are directly responsible for the control of telephone staff and traffic niatters, while in Tasmania the telephone traffic is under the telegraph manager.

47 9. Your Commissioners consider that the present method of tel<•- Not conducive to phone management is not conducive to economieal organization, as it economical imposes work of a non-technical nature on the State Electrical Engineers organization. which is detrimental to the proper performance of their more important

duties. Your Commissioners recommend the appointment of telephone managers to the metropolitan. exchanges in the Statea not already provided with telephone managers.

480. Your Commissioners also recommend that the Telephone Branch, as far as the traffic is concerned, be under the control of the

T elephone Manager, and they are of the opinion that telephone managers should possess sufficient technical knowledge to efficiently cope with tratlic requ.irements.

t"n1:I 481. The necessity for telephone managers to possess tcehuieal

knowledge, in addition to traffic experience, is clearly shown by the faet that the most competent telephone manager in the was originally a fitter.

482. All questions involving distinctly engineering matters should he referred to the State Eleetoral Engineers for decision, while all matters of a non-technical nature, such as telephone complaints and staff matters, should be attended to by the Telephone Manager.

483. Telephone managers should be afforded the fullest opportunity to supervise the working of the exchanges, and, where required, derical assistance should be provided to free them for such duty. .

Traftlc to bo under control or telephone manager.

Technical know· ledge required.

Duties of telephone manager.

484. Country telephone exchanges should remain under the control Countrytelephone of the postmasters, with a monitor in charge of the traffic. exchanges.

Sepamtion cif Telephone Branch frorn Post and Telegraph Department. 485. Your Commissioners inquired into the question of the advisa­ bility of separating the Telephone Branch from the Post and Telegraph Department. The evidence received was to the effect that the telegraphic Telegraphic and and telephonic services are closely associated, and could not be separated telephonic services

'th d t Tl · · d · k f b th th closely associated. WI a van age. 1e engmeermg an constructwn wor o o ese branches is performed by the staffs of the Electrical Engineers' Branches.

486. To create a distinct Telephone Department would mean dupli­ cation of staff, and consequently result in unnecessary expense. In the opinion of your Commissioners all requirements in this direction will be How the require­ met by the adoption of the recommendation that the traffic side of the ments are met.

telephonic se:rvices be removed from the control of the electrical engineers and placed under the telephone managers.

TelPphon e E:rchanges.

48 7. The evidence of technical officers was to the effect that the number of subscribers connected to a telephone exchange should be limited to 10,000. The concentration of traffic of a reasonable area into one central Concentration of traftlc.


Suburban exchanges.

Technical investi­ gation required.

Hours of attendance.

Extended service desired.

Alleged absence of night calls.


Thorough inspec­ tion not provided.



exchange (with the above limitation) is a better method than the establish· ment of a number of small suburban exchanges, the latter being more expensive, and presenting less facilities for supervision.

488. In the Sydney telephone area there are 27 hranch exchanges. The geographieal f(m11ation of that eity necessitates more branch exchanges than is usually the ease, lmt some of the suburban exchanges were alleged to be unnecessary. These exchanges were established prior to Federation, and the transfer of the subscribers to a central exchange would involve a large expenditure, increasing "in proportion to the growth of the exehanges.

489. The Electrical Engineer of Queensland gave evidence to the effect that the abolition of the suburban eichapg('S attached to the Brisbane central exchange, and the transfer of the subscribers to that exchange, would result in an improved service.

490. Your Commissioners are of the opmwn that these matters call for a technical investigation by the IJepartment, in order to ascertain ·whether the outlay neeessary to convert these exchanges would he jnstified by the resultant economy in working and supervision.

CountJ:y Telephone E:rc!tanges.

491. The Telephone Regulations provide that when the revenue of a telephone exchange is less than . .fl50 per annum, attendance shall he given 011ly during the hours the post-office is u,suall_y opeP fqr the transactipn of p11hlic business, apd that when the is £15,0 annum or over,

continnotts attepdance slwJl he provif.lecL .

492. Your Commissioners received a public complaint that it is diffi­ to obtain more than a day jn mf!ny srp;:tll cpunt1 y towns, where it was an extended woulcl result in an, increased nJlmber of

su\)scrihers. A suggestion was m!lde th;tt jp such f?ases l.J. sixteen or eighteen hours' service should pe prqviflfjd UI+til a})qut 1 0 p.rp.

49q! Complaints were also received from representatives of Associa­ tha,t nu.ny coJlntry exchanges were kept opep continuously day

and night, althouglt tpere -rras :t1most entire absence of n.ight cnlls, and requests were made for the discontinuance of such all-night services.

494. Your Comn1issipners recqJilrpepd thfl.t at telephone exchanges, where the revenue is less than £150 per annum, and where night calls are seldom made, provision should be made to attend to calls of vital importance after the usual business hours. Instead of r.equiring the constant attendance

of a telephonist at snch excb::J-n.ges, f!-F;tngen:lents should l:)e made for the person in of the post-office tq attend night cAHs. Few these services fl small annual allpw:i)..nce should he gnwted.

Telephone Inspection.

4 9 5. Systematic inspection of telephone instruments is essential to maintain a telephonic system in efficient working conditio11. Your Cprpmis­ sioners found that thorough inspection is not provided for, the reason. alleged being want of staff. The general practice is to. inspect instruments

after a has occurred. This practice causes il}conveniep.ce to Sl.J.hsc:pihers, and is not to the Department. To prevent the occp.rrence of

faults, the instruments should he inspected periodic:1lly.

496. Your Commissioners recommend that metropolitan networks be divided into districts, each in charge of an officer whose duty it shcmld be to see that every instrument is regularly inspected. Similar arrangements shonld also be made for the thorough inspection of instruments of coq11try by the appointment of a sufficient number of telephone


A lllomatic Switchboards.

49 7. vVith the object of obtaining infol'mation teg:1,rJ ing tlH• utm;t. up-to-date methods fnr vV\lrking telephone exchanges, your examined the technical experts as to the advisability of installing autolllati(• in preference to ·mrtn ual working s\vitchboa.rds .

498. The Ohief Electrical Engineer stated that the cost of the auto­ matic svstem would be g,Teater than that of the common batten· . .svst('lll, and it ;ou:ld l{6t be im under AustraJjan conditions. "' lie also

stated that the American Telephone Company investigated the nwtter, and htmu that the cost of the automatic system was not less than that of tlH· common battery system, while the disadvantages of the automatie system were such as to justify th e retc:ntion of the common battery system.

Automatic versus cou1mou battery system.

499. Your Commissioners were advised that there are a numher of Automa.ttcswltch· a.ngeE! in America under the automatic switchboard ::;yste111, boards tn America. nqtably at Chic!'Lgo, with I\ 1,000 1mb.scribers. One has recently he en established at Qqba which is claillled to be the most up-to-date telephoue

system in the world.

500. During the preparation of this R.eport your Commissioners personally inspected a mechanical device of local invention termed an "electro-mechanieal selector," which was alleged to be automatic, an iuter­ cqmmunication :)nd a lipe saver. Yoqr Cmnmissioners consider that

PepartplentshP.Hld test th e !-ltHity of a step py step" st1ch as

that refjjrred tp 1 for the purpose of a1'\certainipg whether these instruments coulq qe satisf;wto:rily :'l.dopted in wjth party line services, and

in dit1tricts-

Electro-mechnntcal selector.

oO l· your. the attraetivenes$ of alltomatic Automatic switch·

for of messages; from

tbe ;tt then: wonld seem that, the pf Y •

the use of automatic systems for small installations an.d local exehanges, humnn agency .is still required for junction and trunk line ·working.

502. Your Commissioners recommend that the Depar:tment should w·atch the pf th.e a.utmpl'!-tic syst!'lm to sfle if it can be

1'!-nq econmnically to

at th!3 time providing a me:ms qf a cc:>rrect

qf the p.umlwv of Ci\llE! wade v.nder a servioe.

and Metallic Circ'/_lits,

503. Expert clearly shows that in. large centres the under­

ground systml'l is the mo st economical and effective method of dealing with lines. In addition to the economy of maintaining the under­

ground as against the aerial system, the element of danger of contact with aerial lines is eliminated by the underground system. The economic result of under.groundingis evident, as it is estimated that the cost of of the underground system is about one-half that of the aerial system.

504. In all large cities of the Cmnmop.wealth the underground system should be completed. This has been recognised by your Commissioners in the section of this Repo.rt, paragraph 127, by recommending that the necessary be provided for such work.

In addition to the evidence from the Department's

engineers on undergrqunding telephone lines, your Commissioners

have information oq this matter from the report of tbe German

Post ami Telegraph Department for 1901- 5 (a guinquenni:\l publication ) to the ·effect that in many instances outside of cities telephone cables were

Development to be watched closely.

Economy of underground lines.



tlflrfiiati practice. embeddecll.n the ground. In the initial stages of these experiments it was found that the conversations were not so distinct as over aerial lines, but on the insertion of Pupin's self-induction spool at intervals of 1,300 to 1,6.00 metres sufficient distinctness w-as obtained to meet aU the demands of the serviCe.

Metallic circuits.

Importance of metallic circuits.

506. A considerable amount of evidence was supplied in regard to the installation of metallic circuits. It was stated that in the metropolitan area of Sydney about 40 per cent. of the lines were metallic circuit ; that in Melbourne only two lines out of 1,600 in the Central Exchange were metallic circuit; and in the City Exchange 200 out of 1,600; that in Adelaide, 60 per cent. of the lines were metallic circuit; in Brisbane, about 75 per cent.; in Perth, about 70 per cent. ; in Hobart, where the common battery system is in operation, all the lines were metallic circuit.

507. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that to obtain an efficient telephonic service the installation of metallic circuits is essential in large networks, as such circuits minimize induction, and consequent confusion in the transmission of conversations. The important part that metallic circuits play in rendering an efficient telephonic service is illustrated by the ineffective telephonic service existing in Melbourne, where the non-metallic circuit is in common use.

Under grounding of telegraph lines. 508. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the undergrounding of some of the telegraph lines could be adopted with advantage by the Depart­

ment, and recommend close consideration of this matter by its technical officers. In support of opinion, your Commissioners point out that an lmderground telegraph line between Berlin and Halle has been in existence for 30 years, and is said to be still in good working condition. The under­ grounding of telegraph lines between cities such as Sydney and Melbourne

would reduce to a minimum the stoppage of the telegraphic traffic by adverse weather conditions, which are answerable for frequent and serious delays to business on that line.

Manufacture of telephone instru­ ments by Depart­ ment not advisable

at present.

Difficulty in , obtaining trained men.

Mrtnufacture of Telephone Instruments and ]J.:[aterials .

. 50 9. Your Commissioners examined the technical officers and the Victorian representative of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers with reference to the advisability of the Department manufacturing its own telephones. Your Commissioners consider that, as telephone instruments of efficient make are procurable at a cost of about £3, and as the demand in the Commonwealth at present is not very considerable, their manufacture by the Department would not result in economy. But your Commissioners consider that, if future developments make the proposition a sound financial one, a Commonwealth factory should be established for the purpose of manu­ facturing these instruments. In addition to the manufacture of telephone instruments, this Government factory could undertake the manufacture of construction material, such as cables, wire, switchboards, and insulators. Such a would also provide an excellent training school for mechanicians and fitters.

Instrument Fitters.

51 0. The technical witnesses examined were unanimous in stating that the Department experienced great difficulty in obtaining trained men to perform the work of fitting, and were compelled to employ to a

considerable extent temporary men, whose services have to be dispensed with (according to the Oommmzwealth. Public Service Act) at a stage when they are becoming most useful. As the Department is almost the sole employer of telephone fitters, it is imperative that it should train its own fitting _ sta:ff. .. .. .. ... . ..: ,_ _ __ J .'!) __ _ _ ______ _ - - " --'---" ''


511. Your Commissioners consider that the State Electrical Engineers' Branches are most inefficiently equipped with machinery and workshop::; for the proper performance of their work, and for the necessary training uf the staff. ·while this condition of affairs continues, it will be impossible for tlw

electrical engineers to secure efficient and economical service. The absence of effective training, associated with shortage of permanent staff, is most unsatisfactory. YourCommissioners found that instrument fitters, particu­ larly in New South Wales, were confined too closely to certain branches of

their work at the expense of obtaining general experience.

I nstrurnent Fitters' SGdaries.

512. The classification of instrument fitters fixes th. eir salaries as under:-


, ' . \

Want or C!JUipmont and a ot


Atlvancement o!

Junior instrument fitters commence at £26, and advance to £110 hv llttorn. eight annual increments. This is subject to the minimum wage provision that all officers of 21 years of age, with at least three years' service, shall receive salaries at the rate of£110 per annum.

Officers thus promoted to £110 have t o "mark time" through the grades between the salary from which they were promoted a,n

after proving their efficiency, become fitters at £114 per annum. From £114, fitters advance to £129 per by two annual

increments of £6, ·remain at least one year at £126, then may advance to £138 by two more ammal increments of £6, ) remain at £138 for at least one year, and then may by three £6 annual increments attain to £156 per annum, which is the maximum

salary for instrument fitters.

513. Under the present classification, it takes an instrument fitter at least eighteen years to attain a salary of£156. As a contrast, it may be mentioned that a youth entering the Service as a clerk commences at £40 a year, and advances to £160 in six years.

514. Senior instrument fitters are classified in two grades, namely, one £162 to £168 a year, and one £174 to £180. Foremen instrument fitters commence at £192, and advance to £210 by three annual £6 increments. A higher grade proceeds from £216 to £228, and a further grade from £234 to


Striking comparison.

Grades of senior Instrument fitters.

515. Mechanicians are classified in five grades, namely, £192 to £210, Mechanicians' £2l6 to £228, £234 to £240, £252 to £276, and £282 to £348. grades.

516. Representatives of Instruments Fitters' Associations claimed that instrument fitters' work is worth at least £150 a year, which should be attain­ able more speedily, and they alleged that the minimum of £110 had become practically the maximum. The South Australian representatives stated that

there is a greater proportion of junior fitters employed in that State than in any other portion of the Commonwealth, and alleged that proficient mechanics had resigned fro.m the Service owing to the lowness of the status of fitters in the Department.

51 7. It was represented that in New South Wales and South Australia salaries of certain senior positions had been considerably reduced by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner when vacancies occurred in connexion with these positions.

518. The Victorian representative of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers stated that the present rate of wages of instrument fitters in the Department is at least 2s. per day lower than that Society's minimum, and that this debars the members of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers

fr<;>m entering the service of the Department. ·

F,8564, G

l"tttars • a!!soeta­ tions' claims.

Stated reduction of salaries by Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.

Wages below standard.


Public Service 519. The Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that Inspector's view. instrument fitters' work is not uniform, and cannot all be claimed to be worth £150 per annum, and that much of their work is of a simple nature.

520. Your Commissioners consider that the salaries paid to instrument fitters are not sufficient to induce capable men to remain in the Service, and that a rearrangement of wages, with more frequent increments, must be provided if the Department is to place this branch of the engineering division

on a sound basis.

Recommendations 5 21. Your Commissioners recommend that junior fitters; after reaching as to salaries. the minimum wage of £ll0 per annum and proving efficient, should be classified as fitters, and be to £120 per year; then proceed by five annual

increments of £8 to £160 per annum; that the present system of two grades for senior fitters be abolished, and that their salary commence at £170, and advance by two £10 annual increments to £190 per annum; that the salary

Change of designa­ tion recommended.

Proportion o! supervisors to a ttertdants.

Provision for clerical assistance.

· of foremen fitters commence at £200 and advance to £250 per annum, according to the _importancej,of the,..position_toccupied.

Telephone Traffic Supervision.

52 2. The present system '"provides for supervision of telephonists by officers designated supervisors .i..and monitors, only the largest telephone exchanges being equipped with -supervisors in addition to monitors.

5 23. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the officers designated supervisors are performing work similar to that of senior monitors, and that they should be designated traffic supervisors ; also tliat officers now classed as monitors should be designated junior supervisors.

5 24. Branch and country exchanges in larger towns are equipped with monitors, who should, in the opinion of your Commissioners, be designated traffic supervisors. These supervisors should possess sufficient mechanical knowledge to enable them to rectify minor telephone faults.

525. Your Commissioners consider that in large telephone exchanges there &hould be one supervisor to eight attendants. In small exchanges, where there are not less than five attendants employed, provision should be made for a supervisor.

526. In branch exchanges, monitors, in addition to traffic supervision, called upon to perform a considerable amount of clerical work, such as keeping records and furnishing weekly and monthly returns. Where this class of work precludes effective supervision by these officers provision should be made by the Department for the requisite clerical assistance.

52 7. It was claimed by the of monitors in branch

exchanges in New South Wales that monitors should be enabled to qualify for· the positions of telephone inspectors and managers; by a practical exami­ nation. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that every facility for advancement should be provided these officers, and consider that an effective Facility for advancement required. · , , knowledge of the control and the equipment of exchanges should be the main

consideration prior to granting promotion.

Supervisors' Salaries.

528. The present salaries of supervisors and monitors are as follow:­ Telephone monitor, £ll4, with two annual increments of £6. The officers remain at £126 for three years, then proceed to £132 with a further increment to £138 after one year's service at £132. Two long-service increments of

£6 each are provided at intervals of five years after twenty years' satisfactory service. Supervisors commence at £132 per annum and advance to £156 by four annual increments of £6 each.


52 9. Your Commissioners consider that the of these officers Salaries are not commensurate with their duties, and recommend that the salaries recommended. be as follows :-Junior supervisors-£120 to £156, by £6 biennial increments.

Traffic supervisors-£162 to £180 by £6 biennial increments.

·Traffic Supe·rvisors' Hours.

530. Your Commissioners received evidence from a representatiyP of branch exchange monitors in New South Wales that the number of hours worked is 41! per week; and, in some instances, it was alleged that work on broken shifts in branch exchanges extended over thirteen hours a day.

531. The Telephone Manager in New South Wales stated that in the Sydney Central Exchange the average daily hours worked by supervisors were 6 hours 50 minutes ; male monitors, 6 hours 24 minutes ; and female monitors, 6 hours 33 minutes ; and that in branch exchanges, monitors'

hours average 6 hours 42 minutes per day.

532. The Telephone Manager in Victoria stated that in the Melbourne Central Exchange, male monitors average 36 hours 23 minutes, and female monitors 35 hours 57 minutes, per week.

53 3. Your Commissioners recommend that the Department s4ould Recommendation. establish throughout the Commonwealth a uniform system in regard to the number of hours, and that as far asJpracticable broken shifts should}be avoided. ·



f)34. Your Commissioners received evidence that telephone work has Medical opinion an injurious effect on the health of the telephonist. In Perth, the Common- of telephone work. wealth medical officer was most . emphatic in his condemnation of this class of work as a fit occupation for women, and claimed thathis experience and close study of the condition of the health of the female telephonists warranted

him in condemning this class of work for females. He asserted that the majority of female telephonists suffer from nervous breakdown, and he was of the opinion that they should not serve for more than three years continuously, at the end of which period they should have a rest for one or two years, and not be engaged subsequently for periods of more than two years.

This witness did not consider that the occupation of a telephonist was so severe in its effect on males.

535. Several officials corroborated the above-mentioned opmwn to a certain degree, but alleged that with a well equipped exchange the percentage of nervous troubles is not greater than in any other occupation in which females are employed. Some witnesses stated that the deterimental effect

of this class of work was more noticeable when the strain became excessive, and when the telephonists had to work overtime.

536. Your Commissioners recommend that a medical examination be held to prevent candidates subject to nervous complaints being admitted into the telephonic service, and that the telephonists should be submitted , to a periodical medical examination, with a view to ascertaining whether

the work is having a detrimental effect on their health.

53';'. Your Commissioners, from personal inspection of the work, are satisfied as to the correctness of the statements made that the occupation of a telephonist in busy exchanges is most nerve racking. Your Commissioners consider that females are the most expert telephonists, and that the Department


Opinions of officials.

Medical examina­ tion advised.

Nerve-racking occupation.

Hygienic conditions to be observed.

Number of sub­ scribers attended to by each telephonist.

Load on Sydney telephonists.

Load should be reduced.

Average numbel.' of calls per · telephonist.

:Rate of working.

l'tesult of common battery installa­ tions.


should exercise every care to obviate nervous breakdown by improving in every way the working conditions of telephonists. Special attention should be given to the space, light, and ventilation of exchange rooms. Suitably equipped retiring rooms should be provided for telephonists.

Telephonists' Work.

538. There is an absence of uniformity in theJ):mmber of,subscribers' lines attended to by telephonists in the various States. In Hobart, where the common battery system is in operation, each telephonist is able to attend to i40 lines. Under the old system the number dealt with was 100. In the Melbourne Exchange three telephonists attend to 200 flat rate subscribers, and one telephonist to each 100 measured;;service subscribers. On the improved switchboard in the Central Exchange,·'ane telephonist deals_,with 1?0 lines. In Brisbane, each telephonist has to attend to 100 subscribers. ThiS, it is stated, results at times in excessive strain.

539. In Sydney the load per telephonist is 100 subscribers, and com­ plaints were submitted by the telephonists that this load results in excessive overwork. That these telephonists were overloaded was freely admitted by the Chief Electrical Engineer, and the State Electrical Engineer of New South Wales, who both stated that 75 to 80 subscribers per telephonist would be a fair load. The overloading was attributed by the State Electrical Engineer to the excessive use of the telephone by fiat rate subscribers. Recently steps have been taken to reduce the load on Sydney telephonists by erecting a temporary auxiliary switchboard.

540. Your Commissioners consider that the' load on the Sydney tele­ phonists should be reduced at the earliest possible moment, and that the number of subscribers attended to by each telephonist should be made uniform throughout the Commonwealth.

641. To emphasize the extent to which the work of telephonists varies in the several States, the following table is quoted showing the average number of calls answered per telephonist per hour :--Sydney

Melbourne Adelaide Brisbane Robart Perth ..

145·16 126 122•3 113·27 71 68

542. This average is spread over the twenty-four hours of the day, and the average during the busy times (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is much greater.

543. The official standard of working is that each telephonist should not be called upon' to answer more than 200 calls per hour, but the Sydney female telephonists stated that their average rate of working was 400 calls an hour. One witness stated that she had answered calls at the rate of thirteen a minute, and that there are other telephonists in the Sydney Exchange who answer 600 calls an hour in busy times. This state of affairs requires immediate remedy.

544. It was also alleged that the work of telephonists is increased by docket recording of measured service calls on magneto-boards, by attending to public telephones, and by the morning test of all lines.

645. Your Commissioners consider thatwhen the flat rate is abolished, and common battery installations completed, it will be possible to attain uniformity of loads on telephonists. The evidence shows that with complete common battery installations each telephonist could attend to frohl 140 to

160 subscribers. This will result in staff economies, and also enable the working hours to be put on an equitable basi!>.


Recording Galls.

546. On the common battery switchboard, calls are recorded by means of a meter, the telephonist making the record by pressing a button after an effective call has been made. It appears.that no automatic register has yet been devised which will record only effective calls. The present system is

claimed by the Departmental experts to be satisfactory, and it is stated that no difficulty will be found in keeping account of calls if the measured service is made general.

547. The calls of measured service subscribers who are still connectPd with magneto switchboards are recorded on dockets by the telephonists. This adds considerably. to the work of these officers, and the representa­ tives of the telephonists in New South \Vales stated that1 under present

conditions, it was impossible to record every call. It is claimed, however, by responsible officials that, if the flat rate be abolished, the working conditions will be improved to such an extent that no difficulty will be experienced in ·recording calls on magneto switchboards.

Public Telephones.

548. The Sydney telephonists complain that public telephones arc ·mixed up with ordinary telephones on the various portions of the switch­ boards, and suggested that a special section of the switchboard should be set apart for public telephones. Some action has been taken in this direction,

and the Telephone Manager, Sydney, stated that 18 out of 50 such telephones had.been removed to a special position on the common battery board.

549. The transfer of public telephones to a special section should be completed, as it would result in a better service, relieve the telephonists, and insure collection of the fees, which has sometimes t(be neglected, owing to the strain under which the telephonists work.

Telephone Cabinets.

5 50. Your Commissioners consider that the telephone cabinets, through not being sufficiently ventilated, are most uncomfortable and unhealthy, and recommend that the Department should introduce an improved cabinet.

· Morning Test.

.. '

No automatic register.


Work lncroaRod.

Public telophonoa unsuitably placed on

5 51. The morning test (the daily ringing up of each subscriber by tele- Morning test not phonists to ascertain whether the instruments· are working satisfactorily) required. places additional work on telephonists, who claimed that the test was not necessary, as it rarely disclosed .faults. It was stated that time does not

pe.rtnit of the test being made in every case, and that in many instances ·subscribers use their telephones before the test is made. Further, it was alleged that some subscribers object to answering the morning test call.

55 2. Yom Commissioners consider that the results of this morning test are not commensurate with the work imposed . on the telephonists, and that it can safely be abolished, if provision, as recommended,_ be made for efficient inspection of telephones at subscribers' premises.

Check Calls.

55 3. In addition to supervision of telephonists by indoor supervisors and monitors, there is a system of check calls by telephone inspectors who ring up from subscribers' premises to test the manner in which calls are answered. The representatives of the telephonists claimed that these check

calls were unnecessary, and were unfair to them.

5 54. Your Commissioners are seized with the importance of thorough outside checks supervision of the telephonic traffic, but consider that proper supervision within the exchange should reduce the necessity for· outside checks to a mm1mum,

Cords not always available.



55 5. Complaint was made by the representatives of the telephonists in New South Wales that proper equipment was not provided for efficient working. Telephonists at the Central Exchange are furnished with fifteen pairs of cords per 100 subscribers, but it was stated that these were not always available, as some had to be used for public telephones and lines from auxiliary positions. Personal inspection of the Sydney Exchange corroborated this


Spare outfits not in good order.

55 6. It was further complained that fifteen pairs of cords are insufficient during busy periods. Branch exchange telephonists have ten pairs of cords per 100 subscribers, and it was asserted that fifteen pairs are required for expeditious working; It was alleged that spare outfits of telephonists are not always kept in good order, necessitating a trial of three or four before finding an effective outfit.

Appointment of monitors.

Night duties.

Hours of duty.

55 7. Your Commissioners consider that proper equipment should be furnished in the interests of the public and the telephonists.

Branch Exchanges.

558. The following complaints were made by the representatives of the branch exchange telephonists in New South Wales

(I) Senior telephonists, in addition to working their own positions, are in charge of the exchanges. It was claimed that monitors should be appointed in such cases. Your Commissioners have already recommended the appointment of a supervisor in suburban and country exchanges where the number of telephonists is not less than five. The appointment of supervisors in exchanges when the number is less than five is not justified.

(2) Some night telephonists have to compile returns of calls of each · subscriber during the day. This work was stated to occupy four or five hours each night, in addition to the telephonists' ordinary work, and was claimed to be unjust. It was also

stated that unnecessary testing of connexions has to be performed every night. A claim was submitted that night telephonists' duties should be defined. Your Commissioners consider that this request is a reasonable one, and that efforts should be made not to impose such duties on the telephonists as would seriously interfere;withltheir ordinary work.

·Telephonists' Hours.

55 9. Your Commissioners found that the hours worked by telephonists are not fixed on a uniform scale. In the exchanges ofthe States' capitals, the hours were stated to be as follows :-Sydney average 33 hours 43 minutes per week.






" " Brisbane "




" " Adelaide " 44 " per week Perth " 36 " " Hobart " 39 " " 560. In branch exchanges the telephonists work on an average about seven and a half hours a day, and the hours prescribed oy the Department for country exchanges vary from 41! to 46! per week. 561. The hours for night duty (city and suburbs) are 46! to 50 hours, and in country exchanges from 57 to 66 hours per week. A special provision is made that the telephonists in country exchanges need not constantly remain on duty, as an alarm bell is provided to awaken these officials when their services are required.


· 103


562. Your Commissioners. recognise the great difficulty in uniformly adjusting the hours of telephonists, but recommend· that in busy exchanges. where these officials are required to give almo&t continuOU3 attention t.J'ir duties, the hours of working for females (who are employed during the busit':.t period of the day, viz., from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.) should not exceed 6! lwurs

a day, including a meal interval of 45 minutes, and lO minutes' rest interval

Recommenda t1o111 as to hours.

563. In busy branch exchanges where females are employed, approxi-· mately the same number of hours should be worked. In branch exchangt\s where the traffic is more or less of an intermittent nature, the working homs of all telephonists in the daytime should not exceed seven hours a day, including

a meal interval of 45 minutes.

564. A complaint was made by the representative of the New South Wales Telephone Exchange Association that male telephonists at branch exchanges average over seven and a half hours a day, that in some cases telephonists work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. without a break for meals, and that

long broken shifts are worked with only a short break for meals.

565. Your Commissioners consider these hours to be excessive forthe work of telephonists, and are of the opinion that it is to allow at

least 45 minutes for meal intervals. The Department should so staff its services as to be able to make the requisite arrangements for instituting this provision. In main branch exchanges, where the work of male telephonists is confined to night shifts, the hours of duty should not exceed eight per



Automatic Teleg1·aphy.

566. There are several systems of automatic telegraphy, the best known of which are the Wheatstone, the Baudot, the Murray, and· the Hughes. Evidence was given to the efiect that of automatic systems the Wheatstone is the most economical and the most suitable for Australian conditions.

56 7. The use of automatic telegraphy is justifiable on lengthy lines, such as the Inter-State lines, and on shorter lines where the traffic is excessive. It is especially useful in disposing of accumulated work after interruptions or breakdowns of telegraph lines, on account of the greater speed which can

be attained by this apparatus compared with manual working

56 8. In addition to evidence supplied by departmental experts, your Commissioners have obtained the following information from an address delivered · before the Institution of Civil Engineers in Great Britain, on 22nd June, 1910, by the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office:-

There are two distinct methods of increasing the output of telegraphic wires-the Mercardier or tuning fork system, and the automatic ·or machine transmitting instruments.

(1} Mercardier System.

This system depends on the superimposition of musical vibrations on a telegraphic circuit at one end of the line, or, if duplexed, at both ends. To effect this a number of electrically driven tuning forks, arranged to vibrate at different frequencies, are

connected through telegraphic keys to the line wire, so that in depressing any one key a series of electrical vibrations, of the frequency of its companion tuning fork, are sent through the line. The receivers at the other end of the wire are mono-telephones.

each of which is made and adjusted to respond to only one frequency. This method in theory, of sending as mnny

as twelve simultaneous messages in one direction, or double that number if duplexed.

Hours at branch exchanges.

Recommenda tiona for branch exchangea.

Automatic systems.

Use of a.utoma.til systems.

Tuning forl­ system.

Machine transmitting system.


(2) Automatic, or Machine Transmitting Instruments.

The Wheatstone system has been very fully developed in the United Kingdom. It is capable of dealing with traffic at a maximum rate of 450 words a minute. In the central London office, items of news may have to be transmitted to 50 or more towns taneously. Circuits are made up for news transmission, each providing for a number of towns, some of the circuits being of a permanent character, and some formed temporarily to meet special requirements. As many as eight \:Vheatstone slips can be punched simultaneously in one operation, and each length of slip is run through the transmitters at the highest speed considered judicious. When long press messages are received they are divided into sections, and each section handed to a separate telegraphist for perforating, so that the transmitting apparatus . can be kept at its maximum capacity. For ordinary public

message traffic on lines of moderate length, the ·wheatstone has certain disadvantages, namely, the initial outlay in perforating the slip, its distribution, and the re-distribution of the received slip amongst the writing telegraphists. Generally, it is con­ sidered best to work the Morse simplex, duplex, or quadruplex on circuits of moderate length. By the substitution of a chemical for an electro-magnet receiver in

Wheatstone working, a maximum speed of from 1,000 to 1,200 words is possible under favorable conditions, but the difficulties arise of dividing and distributing the slips amongst the large nu,mber of writers necessary to keep pace with the instrument, the pre­ cautions needed to avoid loss of messages and words, and the delay in obtaining repetitionslwhere errors, false signals, and missing

words render this necessary. ·

(3) General.

Both the foregoing methods increase the carrymg capacity of the wires, but none of them increase the output per operator, nor do they diminish the working cost in the instrnment room. To get over this difficulty, electrically or mechanically driven typing apparatus has been substituted for manual transcription. The Hughes method of transmission has many advantages, as it provides

a clearly typed message for delivery, instead of a written one ; it removes a possible source of error in transcription, and the speed of working is 25 per cent. higher than that of the Morse system. The disadvantages of this instrument are the interval of time that elapses between the transmission of two consecutive signals. This waste· of' time is obviated in the Baudot system

by the adoption of multiple telegraphy, by means of which four or six channels simultaneously can be provided on the one wire, each being worked manually. The Baudot system admits of the transmission of a much lagrer number of messages over each wire than the Hughes, and it isialso more flexible. It isllargely used in France. The Murray system has undergone extensive trials. Both this system

and Creed's improved Wheatstone transmitter are used in the British Post Office. Besides the above systems there are several writing telegraphs, such as the Pollak and Virag system. There is also the photographic

printing method of Siemens and Halske.

569. Expert witnesses admitted generally that the Wheatstone is Saving of lines. a great line saver, but it was alleged that its use necessitated increased staff in preparing and transcribing the messages. Against this contention it should be stated that with Wheatstone working the traffic could be disposed

o£ with less lines than are required under the present system, · _



57 0. Although the advantages of the Wheatstone working were known No sustained effort to the Department, no sustained effort was apparently made to introduce by Department. that system until the end of last year. It had been successfully used Perth and Adelaide to some extent, and is now being generally adopted on

Inter-State lines.

5 71. Your Commissioners consider that the earlier introduction of the Wheatstone system would have resulted economy to the Department, and would have given satisfactory results to the public, and, therefore, recom­ mend its adoption on all lines where the volume of business is sufficient to

warrant its application.

Wireless Telegraphy.


57 2. Your Commissioners examined· the technical officers of the Depart-ment on the matter of wireless telegraphy. The evidence showed that the employment of wireless telegraphy for ordi1i.ary traffic is not financially Not ftnncially ju.sti:fiable, as it cannot compete on an economic basis with telegraphy by justifiable. Wire.

573. With regard to the cable traffic between Tasmania and the main­ land, it was assBrted that the volume of business transacted is beyond the capacity of a wireless system.

57 4. The establishment of wireless stations at prominent points on the Establishing Australian coast appears to be necessary in connexion with shipping and wireless stations defence matters) but that is a subject foreign to the scope of this on coast.

Concentrator System.

57 5. The attention of your Commissioners was directed by several witnesses to the concentrator system, or intercommunication switch, in connexion with telegraphy. This is a system by means of which telegraphic lines leading into a common centre can be switched on to one another as desired,

thus obviating the repeating of messages at the Central Office .. This system is said to be in use in England and Belgium.

57 6. It was stated by the representative of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Association that the intercommunication switch is used in Sydney in cases where a suburban station has a number of messages for another station, thus saving repeating at Head Office. The system would,

apparently, only be of advantage in the large c?-pital cities of the Common­ wealth. The development of telegraphic traffic may, in the future, render it advisable to make further use of the concentrator system in the large cities.

Condenser Telephones.

IntercoiDZnuwdca­ tion switch.

Mainly of advantage in large cities.

57 7. The condenser system permits of telegraph lines being used for use in country telephonic purposes, and enables telephonic services to be supplied to districts districts. where the cost of erection of separate telephone lines would be excessive.

57 8. Complaints were made that the superimposition of condenser telephones on telegraphic circuits .has the effect, in many cases, of reducing the working capacity of the lines telegraphically, and instances were quoted in which telegraph lines have been thus unduly overloaded.

579. Although the condenser system is, in certam cases, of great advantage in providing telephonic facilities, its use should be restricted to those lines on which no detrimental effect results to the working of the telegraph lines. Where it is found that it interferes with telegraphic working, the

condenser service should be discontinued, and the necessary telephone lines provided.

Telegraph lines affected.

Restriction of condenser system.

Complaints received.

Objections to proportional grading.

Base of proportional grading.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's view.

Commonwealth Public Service Inspector's statement.


Teleqraphists.-Proportional Grading.

580. Complaints were received from representatives of Post and Telegraph Associations throughout the Commonwealth in regard to the system of proportional grading of telegraphists.

581. The general objections to proportional grading were-that it leads to differential treatment; that it•is a barrier to progress not encountered by any other class of clerical officer; and that it creates discontent by establishing invidious distinctions. It was further contended that proportional grading fails to remunerate many officers according to value of the work done, prevents recognition of merit, and will ultimately lead to the deterioration of the Service.

582. Originally proportional grading was based on the proportion of one-third in the Fourth Class, and two-thirds in the Fifth Class. Subsequently, it was fixed, as at present, namely, two-fifths in the Fourth Class, and three­ fifths in the Fifth Class.

583. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that, of the existing staff of 1,259 telegraphists, no less than 411, or nearly one-third of the total number, have received promotion from Class V. to Class IV. since July, 1904 (inclusive of Classification), and this independently of promotions from grade to grade in Class IV., or to other positions, such as and clerks outside the telegraphists' ranks.

5 84. This witness further stated that the responsibilities and duties of this class of officer are not heavy; that the hours are short; that the remune­ ration is most adequate; and that their avenues of promotion far exceed those of any other class. ·

585. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of.New South Wales submitted the following evidence, viz. :-The[scheme now in operation provides for the retention of three-fifths of the total number of telegraphists in the Fifth Class, Clerical

Division, two-fifths being maintained in the Fourth Class, and of these two-fifths seven-twelfths receive £185 per annum, and are known as Grade I., Telegraphists; one-quarter receive £210 per annum, and are known as Grade II., Telegraphists; one-twelfth receive £235 per annum, and are known as Grade III., Telegraphists; one-twenty-fourth receivei£260 per annum, and are known as Grade IV., Telegraphists; one-twenty-fourth receive £285 per annum, and are known as Grade V., Telegraphists.

To understand the system, it is necessary to show the difference between telegraphists' work and ordinary clerical employment.

The work of a telegraphist does not as a rule improve in quality with the lapse of time. Presuming that he has attained the expert stage, he may until the end of his service continue to perform the same class of duty. He has to send receive messages, and

though sending and receiving may vary to some extent in difficulty with the amount of business on his line, or with the frequency of code messages, or with the inferior working of circuits, it cannot be said, as may be said of many clerical positions, that the work is definitely increasing in value. Even the factors of experience and knowledge, which go so far in increasing an officer's value in other positions, have small weight in the position of telegraphist. Instead of improving he not seldom deteri,orates with the lapse of time, and even if his mental quality and experience show better­

ment, if these are not accompanied with the retention of his manipulative skill, he has to give place to others who have reached or retain the)xpert standard.

• 107

A telegraphist through his career is practically kept to his work of translating from the written message into code-signals on his instrument or performing the reverse operation. His work involves no originality, and would not ordinarily justify the payment of

the maximum salary awarded under the proportional grading scheme to telegraphists. On the question of value, it can be shown conclusively by the returns compiled by the officers themselves, under instruction from the Commissioner, that the average

graphist does not work at high pressure continuously, nor does he as a rule maintain, even through his short day, an averagt> nearly approaching that declared by the Chief Electrical Engineer to be a fair amount to require from an operator, viz., 40 messages

per hour.-There are cases where this rate is exceeded forlshort periods, but these are rare, and are succeeded by intervals where the work is much below the maximum rate referred to. The normal records indicate

that many circuits are only intermittently busy, nor is the work difficult to learn or hard to. carry out. The success in teaching telegraph messengers who possess aptitude shows that to beconw a good manipulator does not depend upon education. . Ru,pidity

and accuracy in sending and ability to interpret inferior signals and read inferior manuscript may be characteristic of a telegraphist, whose quality otherwise is inferior to men with less operating expertness.

If the Commissioner had been governed by considerations of work value alone, the telegraphists would have been worse off than are to-day, and the prospects of advancement would have been inferior, as they certainly were, under the State.

In the arrangement now in force, therefore, it was recognised that the ordinary principles of promotion did not apply. Stagnation in the class would have resulted with consequent discontent, and the desire to escape into other avenues of work would have been

accentuated with the resultant loss of efficiency.

By providing for advancement of a part of the class beyond the u,ctual work value, an incentive to maintain efficiency is provided. Opportunities of promotion for many deserving men from the Fifth Class have been made, and the average remuneration of the whole class materially raised.

At the inception of Federation the average rate of pay in this Sate was £153 Is. per man; it is now £175 2s. 9d.

It can scarcely be said, therefore, that the telegraphists in New South Wales have suffered under proportional grading. It should be added that the telegraphists have shared in the scheme for long­ service increments to Fifth Class officers, and this will make the

comparison even more favorable for the

586. Upon consideration of the evidence your Commissioners cannot indorse the proportional grading system, which provides for an arbitrary division of telegraphists into grades irrespective of work value. It is obvious that the system of proportional grading must be inequitable in its incidence

when the varying conditions of the States are taken into consideration.

58 7. Your Commissioners recommend the establishment of a minimum and a maximum salary, with a definite line of advancement.

Salaries of Telegraphists.

Proportional grading inequitable.

58 8. The representatives of the Post and Telegraph Associations varied Telegraphists' in opinion as to the amount of salary considered equitable remuneration for salaries. their duties. The salaries claimed to be equitable for expert telegraphists


Scale of salaries.


ranged from £210 to £285 per annum. Telegraph managers stated that the average salary of a competent telegraphist should range from £200 to £235 per annum. Other leading officials e:xpressed the opinion that the present salaries are 'sufficient.

589. The scale of salaries provided by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner is as follows :-Three-fifths of the telegraphists shall be in Class V. of the Clerical Division, minimum £4:0 and maximum £160 a year, with long-service increments to £180 ; the remaining two-fifths in Class IV. are graded-seven-twelfths at £185 per annum, one-fourth at £210 per annum, one-twelfth at £235 per annum, one twenty-fourth at £260 per annum, and one twenty -fourth at £285 per annum.

590. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner submitted the following table, showing the average salary of telegraphists at the inception of the Commonwealth, 1901, and in the year 1!)09

Average Salary of Telegraphists.


- ------

New Scuth Wales Victoria Queensland South Australia ...

·westem Australia rrasn1ania

and stated-

At Federation.


158 154 153 156 156 118

At 1st ,January, 1909.


180 165 176 179 183. 175

Increased average per officer.


27 11 23 23 27 57

"The number of telegraphists at lst January, 1909, was 1,259. If these officers were paid at the State rates in vogue at the date of Federation, instead of the e:xisting Commonwealth rates, a saving of £28,8ll per annum would be effected. In other words, under the proportional grading system, which has been adversely criticised, these officers are nearly £30,000 pe.r annum (or £23 per annum per officer)\ better off than they wouldjhave been under State

conditions. -

"In comparing Commonwealth with State conditions, it is sufficient to mention that Victorian telegraphists under State law only had si:xteen positions in Class IV., with a maximum of £235, while under Commonwealth they have 125 positions in Class IV., with a maximum of £285. In Queensland, the ma:ximum salarv for telegraphists under State was £250 as against· £285 under "com­ monwealth. Under the State, it took an operator ten years to rise from £65 to £160, while under Commonwealth, a similar

officer at the same age would advance from £60 to £160 in five years. In Western Australia, the highest salary paid telegraphists by the State was £210, and there were only eighteen officers receiving above £180, while at present there are 59 telegraphists receiving over that amount, including ten with salaries above £210 and ranging up to £285.

"Complaints have been frequent that postmasters and ordinary clerical officers are placed at a disadvantage in the matter of promotion as compared with telegraphists,"


5 91. Your Commissioners consider that the iD;equitable incidence of the present scheme of proportional grading is shown in the following tabk, which accepts for the purpose of illustration the number of telegraphists at 1,200:-

. '

Grade- Number-

Class V. 720.

Class IV., Grade l .. _ 280

1:!0 40 20 20

" " 2

" " 3

" " 4 , , 5


From £120 to £160, with Long Sen·ice hH:reml'nts to .t.:i ... tl.

£185 \ :dO ( Telegraphists are able to get i11to 235:, Class IV. only when vaea11eies 260 '\ oecur


59 2. Your Commissioners recommend that the minimum salary of Salaries telegraphists be £120, as at present, and that the maximum for ordinary recommended. telegraphists be £210, attainable from £120 by two annual increments of £20 each, and five annual increments of £10 each. For the positions of senior telegraphist, supervisor, testing officer, assistant manager, and manager,

salaries should range from £235 to a maximum of £600 for the position ol' State Telegraph Manager. Promotions beyond £210 to depend upon the recommendations of the Staff Committee.

Hours of Telegraphists.

59 3. 'rhe Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner ruled in May, 1906, that the hours for staff offices should be six for continuous work, and at other offices, seven hours per day, with an extra hour in each case to meet emergencies. In many instances ·the Department arranges the work

upon the basis of a short and a long working day. The ho_urs are averaged on a fortnightly basis before recognising overtime.

5 94. Complaints were received from representatives of telegraphists in several of the States that the Commissioner's ruling (which was admitted to be equitable) was not enforced, and that the hours worked by telegraphists were not uniform throughout the States.

595. In Sydney the average hours were said to be 6! per day. The morning staff works 6! hours, the evening staff 5! to 5! hours a day, but it was alleged that the evening staff is sometimes called upon to do " roster " duty up to 2, 3, or 4 a.m.

596. In Brisbane the daily average hours were stated to be-Morning staff .. 5·hours, 55 minutes. Afternoon staff [, " 57 " All dav staff .. 7 " 10 " Night "staff 6 " 36 " The telegraphists in Brisbane complained that the afternoon staff there works longer hours than do similar staffs in Sydney and Melbourne. .

Ruling of Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.

Telegraphists' complaints.

Sydney hours.

Brisbane hours.

59 7. In Hobart, where telegraphists' average hours were said to be Hobart hours. 6!- hours a day, there are alternate "short" and "long" days, the former being 5 hours. Complaints were made that the long day averaged from 6! to 13 hours, and that each telegraphist worked after midnight at least once

a week. It was stated that these long shifts nullify the advantage of the 5-hour day.

o98. In Great Britain, telegraphists work 8 hours a day, including a Hours in meal interval of half-an-hour, and also two rest intervals of 15 minutes Great Britain. It was alleged that the English. telegraphists work under easier conditions than obtain in the Commonwealth.



Effect of telegraphists' work.

Alleged severe nervous strain.

Grading of telegraphists.



Promotion tests.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's view.

Telegraphists who have lost skill.


599. Representations that in staff offices work in excess

ofm hours in any one day should be paid for as overtime, and that in oth:r offices where the work is of an intermittent character, overtime should be paid for after 8 hours work in any one day.

600. Your Commissioners recommend that protracted shifts should be avoided as much as possible, and that a sufficient staff be appointed to enable this to be done wherever necessary. Your Commissioners consider that the ruling . of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner as to hours for telegraphists in staff offices should be enforced. In the less busy offices, whei"e · the work is of an intermittent character, your Commissioners recmnmend a hours working day, with a meal interval of 45 minutes.

6 01. Your Commissioners, in recommending the number of hours to be worked, and in their conclusions as to salaries, have been influenced by the knowledge that continuous telegraphic operating is a most trying occupation. It was alleged that the opinion of leading medical experts is that, pathologically · considered, the occupation of a telegraphist is more deleterious in its effects

than any trade or profession hitherto regarded as dangerous, and that the strain on the brain and heart is very severe. Evidence was tendered that the work of telegraphy, when consta.nt, imposes a severe nervous strain on

the operator, occasioning in many cases nervous breakdown, insomnia, and mental depression, and instances were quoted of serious cerebral troubles.

Telegraphists' Promotion.

602. Telegraphists have been graded by advisory boards o£ expert officers into five grades of efficiency, viz :-(1) First class, (2) very good, (3) good, (4) moderately good, and (5) fair. Promotion is stated to be made in accordance with this grading. Since this evidence was given the number of grades has been reduced from five to three .

6 0 3. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that this system of internal grading is unnecessary, and that telegraphists' promotion should depend upon their general capacity. Your Commissioners recommend that pro­ motion be based on the efficiency of the opera tor to be determined by the Staff Committee.

604. Your Commissioners have previously recommended that two grades of telegraphists are sufficient. Advancement :from £120 to £210 should be by annual increments dependent on good conduct, and general efficiency. For promotion above £210 a year a practical test should be imposed, in addition to judging officers on general capacity. The present test for promotion is a test of speed and accuracy at the rate of 32 words a minute. Complaints were made that such test is unfair, as many candidates for promotion fail on account of nervousness. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that a fairer test would be three tests, each of .an hour's duration, under actual working conditions.

605. Complaints were also made by telegraphists that their avenues of promotion outside their own class are restricted. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that telegraphists have three avenues of pro­ motion, namely, as telegraphists, as clerks, and as postmasters.

606. It was claimed by the telegraphists that they are discriminated against in regard to clerical vacancies. The practice is to transfer tele-graphists, who have deteriorated in manipulative skill, to postmasterships.

6 0 7. Your Commissioners consider that telegraphists should not be retained at telegraphic work after showing deterioration, and that these officers should be absorbed into other clerical branches; those with the necessary qualifications being appointed postmasters. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that postmasters should possess a knowledge of telegraphy


Use of Mecographs.

608. It was stated that telegraphic operating frequently caused break­ down of the wrist, and a mechanical device known as the mecograph is requisitioned for the purpose of affording relief to telegraphists who are so affected. Your Commissioners do not recommend the compulsory use of

this appliance by all telegraphists, but consider that the Department should sufficiently equip the offices with these instruments, or other similar mechanical devices, so that relief may be provided before an actual breakdown occurs.

Typewriters for Telegraphists.

609. The use of typewriting machines by telegraphists is governed by Public Service Regulation 166, which provides that where any telegraphist is required to use a typewriter, and to supply the machine and accessories, an allowance not exceeding 15s. a month may be made by the authority of

the Chief Officer.

61 0. The representative of the Commonwealth Post and 'relegraph Officers' Association stated that in some of the States lOs. a month was allowed for typewriters, and requested that a uniform rate of 15s. a month should be allowed until the machine is paid for, the hire to be subsequently fixed at

lOs. a month. A leading official stated that the Department found this a more economical practice than for the Department to supply machines.

611. Your Commissioners do not consider that the hiring of typewriting machines is an economical practice, and, therefore, recommend that the Department should provide these machines, and make theiT use general throughout the Commonwealth, where the volume of business is sufficient

to warrant it.

Tf(legraph Messengers.

612. Numerous complaints were received as to the unsuitability of many of the lads employed in the capacity of telegraph messengers. The evidence was unanimous that the statutory provision requiring the retire­ ment of messengers at the age of 18 years (unless previously promoted) has not proved beneficial to the Service. Owing to this provision the Depart­

ment has lost the services of a number of useful officials. Further, it has had the effect of preventing a desirable class of youths from entering the Service; but it was stated that the retirements necessitated by the above-mentioned provision are now infrequent.

. 613. During the course of this inquiry, the retiring age has been extended to 20 years by an amendment of the Commonwealth Public Service Act. 614. Your Commissioners recommend that the provision relating to the retiring age of telegraph messengers should be abolished, and that youths once

admitted should be retained in the Service after serving a period of satisfactory probation.

615. In view of the rapid expansion of the Department, the great use made of temporary employment, and the difficulty in obtaining experienced officers, your Commissioners consider that it would be a sound policy for the Department to retain these messengers. They would provide an excellent

recruiting ground :from which to draft staff for other branches of the Depart­ ment. If this recommendation be adopted, it will be necessary to exercise more discrimination in the admission of these youths to the Service.

616. Your Commissioners recommend that the age of admission, now 13 years, should be raised to 15 years, and as an additional inducement to that of permanency of employment, the salary attached to the position should be increased.

Inspection of Telegraph Messengers. 61 7. Your Commissioners found that the outdoor supervision of telegraph messengers was not sufficient. The times of departure and return of the mes­ sengers are recorded in the Telegraph Despatch Branch, but, in the opinion

Use of mecograph.

Use of typewriting machines.

Recommendation regarding type­ writing machines.

Retiring age.

Provision should be abolished.

Retention of messengers.

Age of'admission.

Insufficient inspection.


Supervisors recommended.

Receipts for telegrams.

Commonwealth Public Service Inspector says boys discouraged

on men's work.




of your Commissioners, this does not provide a sufficient check. Promptness on the part of telegraph messengers is a primary essential of good servjce. Some wi·tnesses con1plained that the boys loitered in the execution of their duties.

618. Your Commissioners recommend that outdoor supervisors of telegraph messengers be appointed to see that these officers carry out their duties with promptness and efficiency. Recently the Department announced its intention of taking action in the direction indicated.

619. A number of witnesses recommended the re-introduction of the receipt system for t elegrams. Responsible officers stated that such a system is impracticable owing to the delay which would be occasioned by obtaining receipts. Your Commissioners consider that effective supervision of telegraph messengers' work would obviate the necessity for such receipts.


620. Representatives of associations in many of the States alleged that boys are employed on men's work, and they complained that the Department ·thus secured cheap labour. Several witnesses stated that boys fourteen to eighteen years of a,ge were employed as night telephone attendants, and to

deliver telegrams to suburbs inside certain metropolitan districts. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South ·wales stated that the employment of boys on men's work is discouraged by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.

6 21. Your Commissioners recommend that boys be not employed continuously on men's work, and that night duty for boys (except delivery of telegraph messages) be abolished.

PosT OFFICES. • Grading.

6 2 2. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner has provided a classification scheme which grades post-offices into four classes (corresponding with the lowest fo11r classes of the Clerical Division), and which subdivides these classes into thirteen grades, as follows :-Fifth Class, Grade 13, . salary £120 to £180; Fourth Class, Grades 12 to 8, salary £185 to £285; Third Class,

Grades 7 to 3, salary £310 to £400; Second Class, Grades 2 to l, salary £420 to £500.

623. The following table shows the number of official post-offices on 1st January, 1910:-

CO• I I _ _N_e'_w _vi_ct_or- ia.'""


460-500 420-440

2 1












10 11 12


400 380 360 335 310

285 260 235 210 185




13 2


15 8

29 35 40 92 41








21 21 11 16 19










13 9

15 18 .14


South Australia.





10 5


26 20


Western Australia.







IO 13 15 14 10














18 II

18 33 23

83 84 93 173 115


Total 351 168 92 99 116




This classification scheme originated 1908.

A statutory period has not been fixed for further regrading. .


624. The Commonwealth Public S:;rvice Commissioner stated that the grading of post-offices is determined by the volume of business transacted, not by the revenue earned, and that a uniform system is applied to the Com­ monwealth. This witness further stated that the whole of the business at a post-office, including letters posted and received, ma,ils despatched and received,

telegrams despatched, received, or repeated, money orders and postal notes issued and paid, savings bank deposits and withdrawals, telephone work, Treasury transactions, supervision of staff, &c., is taken i o account in fixing the grade of every office.

625. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales considered that the grading system was fair, and that in the event of the number of grades being reduced anomalies would result in: regard to salaries and work value.

626. Complaints were made by witnesses, including leading officials and representatives of Associations, that this grading scheme is too elaborate in its application, and necessitated considerable expense in transferring officers to fit in with the multifarious grades. It was stated that the cost of thes('

transfers in 1908 was from £3,000 to £4,000, in addition to the cost of alteration of quarters to suit the incoming postmasters.

62 7. Further, it was alleged that considerable disadvantage was experi­ enced' by the publie owing to postmasters not being possessed of local know­ ledge. Several leading officials in the Department stated that the grades should be reduced to five to correspond with the grades in the Clerical Division,

which they alleged would overcome the expense and general disadvantages mentioned.

628. Commissioners consider that the basic principle of the grading scheme is equitable, as the work done by officials, and not the revenue earned, should be the predominant factor in fixing grades. It is conceivable that in some offices a very large revenue may be returned, but the work may

be of small account, while in other offices the contrary applies.

629. Your Commissioners have observed that since the evidence in connexion with post-office grading was given, the Commonwealth Public

113 ' \

How the grade is fixed.

Public Service Inspector on grades.

Scheme too elaborate.

Reduction of grades advocated.

Basic principle equitable,

Service Commissioner contemplates reducing the number of grades from Reduction of thirteen to seven, with the object of removing the defects that are apparent number or grades. in the existing scheme.

630. It was the intention of your Commissioners to advise that the number of grades be considerably reduced. Your Commissioners recommend Recommendation. that the proposed alteration in grading, as indicated by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, be immediately adopted, witli

a view to a further

reduction to make the grades correspond with the classes of the Clerical Division. The reduction in the number of grades would result in large savings, while at the same time ministering to public convenience, and making for contentment in the Service.

Hours of Postmasters.

631. Representatives of Associations in some of the States alleged that country postmasters work excessive hours, and that certain postmasters are Excessive hours not able to properly supervise on account of the great amount of work required alleged. of them. It was also alleged that country postmasters are obliged to .work on

Sundays. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that in some instances postmasters may be overworked, owing, to some extent, to the abnormal conditions which have prevailed for some time, but that, with reasonably staffed offices, postmasters need not be overworked.

This witness contended that in the vast majority of cases postmasters are not overworked. F.8564. H

Rebuttal by Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.


6 3 2. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that while, in some few instances, a postmaster might find the strain of supervision and control pressing heavily, this was inseparable from the nature of his calling, and was not greater than that experienced outside the Service by men in charge of important undertakings. He was satisfied that in the vast majority of cases the statements submitted as to the hours of postmasters were absolutely unreliable, and always showed that they commenced at an early hour if a mail was received or despatched, and were on duty to a later hour, if the same work was required. An instance was quoted in which a postmaster in Western Australia informed the Commissioner that his dav's work com­ menced at 4.30 a.m., but, on further inquiry, the learned that

this officer opened his bedroom window at that hour, took the mail in, and retired to bed again. This witness further stated that, in the generality of instances, apart from "worki_ng" the long hours indicated, postmasters are not even in attendance either at the offices or their quarters during the periods mentioned.


633. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the larger offices should be so staffed that effective supervision and control shall not be impaired through insufficiency of staff. They recommend that in cases where it is indisputably shown that excessive hours of working in country offices are in any sense continuous, provision should be made for increased staff. The conditions existing in country offices do not allow of definite hours being fixed, but your Commissioners consider that the work of postmasters should not exceed eight hours a day on average working.

Salaries considered fair.

Claim for abolition of rent charge.

Rent deduction said to vary.

Must reside on premises.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner against free quarters.

Postmasters' Salaries.

634. The average salary paid to postmasters has increased about £20 per annu.m since Federation. The minimum rate in New South Wales has been advanced since Federation from £100 to £160 per annum, and provision has been made for a still further increase by long-service increments to £180. Your Commissioners have made recommendations under the heading of

"Clerical Division" which will apply to Fifth Class postmasters. The S?

Rent for Quarters.

635. The practice of the Department is to charge postmasters 10 per cent. on salary for rent of quarters. Representatives of Postmasters' Asso­ ciations claimed that this rent charge should be abolished. These witnesses stated that the practice of postmasters residing in the official premises resulted in public and official convenience.

636. Further, it was contended that postmasters, through residing on the premises, acted 'as caretakers and watchmen, which duties should be set off against the rent charges. It was alleged that a saving to the Department was thereby effected of the cost of extra assistance, which would have amounted to more than the rent charged.

637. It was stated that the deduction for rent for the same quarters varies with the salaries of the officers occupying them.

638. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that one of the conditions of service is that postmasters must reside on the post-office premises in order to be available at times of emergency; that the rent fixed is pelow the rental value. of the quarters; that instances have occurred where postmasters, on transfer to post-offices without quarters, have com­ plained of having to pay higher rent for private residences; that 86 per cent. of the postmasters are charged rent ranging only from 6s. to lOs. 9d. a week. This witness contended that there was no warrant for conceding free · quarters; that if rent were abolished the value of the quarters would have to be considered in fixing salaries.


Total 180

642. In New South Wales these officers' salaries range from £140 to £265; one postmistress only being in receipt of the latter salary; one receiv­ ing £235; and another £210. In Victoria the salaries range from £160 to £210, on which mark there are only four postmistresses. The salaries paid

in South Australia range from £UO to £160. The postmistresses of Western Australia are all in the 5th Class of the Clerical Division. In Tasmania the salaries range from £140 to £210. The only evidence "' received from postmis!resses was that tendered by the Victorian Women's Post and Tele­

graph Association, whose representative complained that the work of post­ mistresses had been undervalued, and that £210 is the present maximum for postmistresses in Victoria. It was claimed by this witness that post­ mistresses should be allowed to advance as far as they can prove their

capacity, and that females have capably managed offices graded subsequently at £260. 643. It was stated by other witnesses that females are not so suitable as males for controlling post-offices where the supervision of staffs is required.

Your . Commissioners consider that, while this may be generally the case, postmistresses now in the Service should, if they show the necessary capacity, receive equal treatment in the of promotion.

644. Your Commissioners do not recommend the employment of females tC\ take charge of official post-offices, but consider that those now in the .Service should receive the same treatment as other officers. (See also Minority Report, paragraph 1072.)

PosT-OFFICES . OTHER THAN OFFICIAL OFFICES. 645. The Department provides, in addition to official post.offices, three other classes of offices, namely, the receiving, the allowance, and the semi­ official office. The following table shows the number of such offices in 1908 :-

::' ew . . Queens- South

VJCtoria. land. Australia

Tasntania TotaL

_..;.._ __________ --------------

Number of semi-official and allowance offices . . . . 1,615 1,465

Number of receiving offices 526 713

407 896

587 29

Totals 2,141 2,178 1,303 . 616

H 2

204 72


333 4,611 36 2,272

369 6,883

Postmistresses' salaries.

Suitability of women for post-oftlces.




Free mail bag.

Nature of receiving post-office.

What constitutes an allowance office.

Nature of semi­ official offices.

Alleged disabilities resulting from semi-official offices.

Conflicting evidence.


Semi-official salaries said to be inadequate.

Appointments to semi-official offices.

Status not uniform.


646. The respective functions and powers of the above-mentioned offices are as follow :-Receiving 0/fice.-This is the lowest grade of office. The first facility provided is a free bag wherever there are two or settlers

on the mail line. The letters are sent in care of one person, who is deputed by the other settlers to undertake the receiving of correspondence, its delivery, and enclosing of same in the mail bag, which has to be taken to the nearest post-office. In this case the Department accepts no responsibility. The next facility provided is a receiving office, the revenue from which must

amount to approximately £5 per annum. The allowance paid varies from £1 to £8, the usual allowance being £5. Allowance Office.-When the revenue amounts to £15 per annum, a receiving office becomes an allowance office. The allowance paid

ranges from £10 to £70 a year. ·

6 4 7. To afford equitable treatment to this class of employe, your Commissioners recommend that the Department review the whole question of allowance and receiving offices, with the object of ascertaining the volume of business transacted by these offices, so as to enable fair remuneration to be provided in each case on its merits.

Semi-official 0/fice.-A semi-official office is established when the minimum revenue amounts to £200 per annum (£40 of which must be telegraphic and telephonic revenue), and continues at that amount of revenue or over for a period of twelve months. When the revenue has reached £400 per annum, a semi-official

office is entitled to become an official office. The allowances paid were stated to range from £78 to £ll0 per annum.

648. Representatives of Associations contended that the practice of reducing official offices to semi-official status where the revenue is £400 or under vis open to abuse, as it tends to defeat the principle of the minimum wage by securing the services of a certain class of employe at a low rate of wage. It was also said to have the effect of discouragjng younger officers in the service, whose avenues of promotion are restricted by this class of office not being classified as official. It was also contended that no office in the line of important telegraphic circuits should be semi-official.

649. Your Commissioners received a considerable amount of conflicting evidence in regard to the allowances paid. It was stated by the Permanent Head of the Department that the allowance for semi-official offices must amount generally, including quarters, to £ll0 per annum, and that an additional allowance is made if assistance is required. Another witness stated that the minimum personal allowance in connexion with semi-official offices is £78, in addition to rent, and whlltever is required for the purpose. of employing a telegraph messenger and payment for lighting.

6 50. Representations were received from semi-official postmasters and postmistresses complaining that their present salaries are inadequate, and many asserted that they were qualified telegraphists, and were perform­ ing the work of staff officials without receiving the salaries and privileges of permanent officers. It Jwas stated that these offices are given to deceased officers' widows or relatives, who in very few cases could qualify for permanent appointment, even if eligible. Appointments are made to semi-official offices by the Deputy Postmasters-General on the recommendation of the Tender Board. Several official witnesses stated that semi-official offices render as efficient service as official offices, and are less expensive.

651. Your Commissioners discovered that a considerable number of post-offices in the Commonwealth now scheduled as official should, according to the revenue basis, be reduced to the status of semi-official offices. There are also a number of semi-official offices which should on similar grounds be scheduled as official offices. This is mostly apparent in the State of Victoria. It was stated in evidence that it was the intention of the Department to place some of the offices referred to on the official list.


6 52. Your Commissioners recommend that the principle which should guide the Department in scheduling semi-official offices should be the amount of business transacted, and not on the revenue receipts. Offices that are important as line repairing or repeating stations should not be classed as semi-official. The minimum salary of the person in charge of a semi­ official office should be £110 per annum, and a stipulation should be made

that messengers employed should not be under 15 years of age, and should be paid the full amount of salary granted by the Department for this position. Persons engaged in semi-official offices should be permitted to qualify for staff appointments on passing the prescribed examination for appointment

as telegraphists.


653. Your Commissioners, in addition to receiving evidence from the Controllers of Stores, inspected the Stores Branches, and the system of keeping stores accounts in all the States, except New South \¥ales, in whieh State the Chief Stores Branch had been destroyed by fire. ·

654. The stores were found to be well kept, except in Western Australia. The class of accommodation provided for the Stores Branches will be reported upon under the section of this Report dealing with Buildings and Accommoda­ tion.

655. Your Commissioners found that the Controllers of Stores, with one exception, were without previous commercial training, and that most of these officials were devoid of previous experience in the Stores Branch. Your

Principle of classification.

. '



Condition of stores.

Commissioners recommend that in future appointees to positions as Controllers R9cumm ndation. · of Stores should be selected from those who possess some experience in dealing with stores and material.

System of Okeckinq.

656. Your Commissioners discovered that stock was not taken, nor a valuation wade of stores, when the States' Post and Telegraph Departments were transferred to the Commonwealth. This appears to your Commissioners a most serious omission.

657 .. The general practice of the Department is to take stock annually, and, in addition, the Auditor-General provides a t pecial audit inspector to attend to the auditing of stores. This audit officer visits each State, but is unable to inspect each Store Branch annually.

658. The Chief Clerk in the Audit Office stated that sufficient regard is not paid by the Department to the control of stores ; that there is not a proper check; and that there are numerous discrepancies due to carelessness and want of proper bookkeeping. On the other hand, it was claimed generally

by the departmental witnesses that the check on stores is effective. It was, however, admitted by the Accountant in Western Australia that, up to the time of his evidence, the check on stores issued had not been effective in any of the branches of that State. This is clearlv borne out bv the recent irregularities in connexion with the Electrical Engineer's Branch, in which an

officer was convicted of considerable misappropriations of stores.

659. The Electrical Engineers of the States are responsible for stores issued to their branches after they leave the Stores Branch. These stores are issued to and used by linemen and others, who keep material conversion ledgers. The Controller of Stores in Queensland acknowledged that he had

known construction material to go astray.

660. Your Commissioners consider that the present system of checking issues of stores is unreliable and misleading. The establishment of a Materials Purchase Account 1 as recommended in· paragraph would :' e


Valuation of ltores not made.

System of stock-taking.

Check on stores not effective.

Responsibility for stores.

Stores' check unreliable.

Annual stock-taking recommended.

Additional care required.

An extravagant Board.



Decentralization of stores.

Uniformity desirable.

Commonwealth factory recommended.


the inauguration of a proper system of bookkeeping. The value of all stores issued would then be debited to the branches concerned. This account would, in the opinion of your Commissioners, provide a more effective check than has hitherto prevailed.

661. Your Commissioners recommend that stock be taken annually in the Stores Branches, and that certain lines be selected and balanced each month, as an additional check, as it is of paramount importance that effective checks be established to prevent leakage.

662. It was generally claimed that the check on materials issued to line foremen by the Electrical Engineer's Branch was efiective; but your Com­ missioners recommend the exercise of additional care in this direction.

Obsolete Stores.

6 6 3. Obsolete stores and materials are dealt with by a Departmental Board, and if condemned are sold by public auction. The Board consists of the Electrica1 Engineer, the Senior Inspector, and the Controller of Stores. Your Commissioners consider that to occupy the time of highly-salaried officials to condemn worn-out horses and old horseshoes is ridiculous and extravagant, and they recommend that such matters be relegated to the officer in charge of the stables.

664. In regard to obsolete material of a technical nature, your Com­ missioners recommend that the State Electrical Engineer be empowered to condemn such material. As to other obsolete material, your Commissioners recommend that the Controller of Stores be empowered to take the necessary . action. In all such cases the officials mentioned should advise the Deputy Postmaster-General prior to ultimate action being taken .

Stores .Distribution.

6 6 5. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the issue of stores could be decentralized to some degree with advantage to the Department. Instead of supplying small country offices with stores from the Head Office arrangements should be made to hold sufficient stocks at the large provincial

offices to furnish the ordinary demands of smaller offices, thus saving time in supplying those offices.

Standardization of Material.

666. Standardization of specifications and sealed patterns of materials has been undertaken by the Chief Electrical Engineer, and proceeded with in the most urgent directions. It is alleged that want of staff has prevented the completion of this work. Your Commissioners consider that uniformity as regards material is desirable in the interests of economy and efficiency, and that early arrangenH•nt,<; should be made by the Department to have this work completed.


6 6 7. Departmental uniforms forletter carriers and telegraph messengers are supplied by contractors, who are supposed to pay standard wages. Evidence was given that, in some instances, it would be better if the Depart­ ment purchased the material, and had the clothing made in State factories. Your Commissioners are of opinion that economies would be effected ifthe Commonwealth Government established its own factory for the manufacture of uniforms. Such a factory could undertake the manufacture· of mail bags, letter carriers' bags, and other classes of material as the expansion of the Department justified it.



668. Your Commissioners received complaints from certain commercial :firms that the time allowed by the Department between the inviting and closing of tenders for supplies of electrical material, such as switchboards and similar material of a· special nature, is too limited, and in many cases insufficient to permit contractors to send the and specifications

abroad to the manufacturers, and obtain their tenders by mail or even procure quotations by cable. ·

6 6 9. It was also complained that the time allowed for the first deliveries of supplies after tenders are accepted is too short, as it is necessary, when material has to be supplied to specification, to send full details, and sometimes forward samples, t·o the manufacturers before the manufacture of the material

ca.n be proceeded with.

6 7 0. Your Commissioners have already recommended the direct purchase of such materials by a buying agent at the centres of production, in preference to the tender system. Should this recommendation be not adopted, the establishment of a capital account, and a materials purchase account, would

allow the Department to proceed in a more systematic manner than in the past, and put these matters on a basis more satisfactory to contractors and itself. ·

Deposits on Tenders.

6 7 1. Your Commissioners received a complaint in connexion with t}le deposits, which have to be lodged with each tender by contractors for switchboards or other materials. It was suggested· that it would be fairer and more convenient to the parties concerned if the Department accepted

a bank deposit receipt for a :fixed sum to be held as a guarantee in connexion with tenders submitted. Your Commissioners see no objection to the adopting of such a practice, and consider it would effectively protect the Department while freeing it from the work of dealing with such deposits.

Preference to British Manufacturers. 6 7 2. In the acceptance of tenders the Department allows a preference to the extent of 10 per cent. on goods or material of British manufacture, as against foreign goods. Your Commissioners received complaints on this

matter from local representatives of foreign manufacturers, who asked for the removal of the Departmental preference on British goods, on the grounds that the Tariff now provided to what extent preference shall be given. This being a matter of Government policy, your Commissioners do no't deem it

within their scope to make any recommendation thereon.


6 7 3. Your Commissioners consider that much time and effort are wasted in the Correspondence Branch by over-elaboration in writing letters. Sim­ plicity of style, and the general use of the memorandum form of correspondence would, in their opinion, result in savings and in expedition. The use of open­

faced envelopes should be resorted to.

6 7 4. In th.e Record Branch the card index system· has been introduced to some extent. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the of this system should be extended.

AssrsT ANTS.

6 7 5. In the present Classification provision is made for two classes of assistants, namely, clerical assistants in the 5th Class of the Clerical Division (£40 to £160, with long-service increments to £180), and postal assistants, who are classified in the General Division, with minimum salary of £60 and

max!mum of £138, with two long-service increments to £150, after 20 years' serv1ce.


Insuftlcient time allowed for tenders.

Insuftlcient time for first deliveries.

Purchase of materials.

Bank deposit receipt.

Removal of preference requested.

Simplification of correspondence.

Classification ol assistants.


Cle1·ical Assistants.

Duties of clerical assistants. 6 7 6. Clerical assistants are employed at suburban and country offices. rrheir work includes telegraphy and counter work, and it was stated in evidence

by the representative of the Postal Clerks and Clerical Assistants' Association of New South \Vales that clerical assistants sometimes occupy the place of postmasters, and that 90 per cent. of them are qualified telegraphists. This witness claimed that their position should be re-qlassified, three-fifths to remain in the 5th Class and two-fifths to be promoted to the 4th Class

(£185 to £285).

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's and Commonwealth

Public Se1·vice Inspector's statement.

6 7 7. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner and the Common­ wealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that the maximum pay for clerical assistants under State control was £125, and that under the Commonwealth these officers are well paid, much of their work being of a General Division nature ; further, that clerical assistants with sufficient telegraphic ability are in the direct line of promotion as telegraphists and postmasters.

Recommendation. 6 78. Your Commissioners are not in favour of a grading system for these officers, but consider that the designation of " clerical assistant " should be abolished, and that these officers should be entitled clerks. Those who are capable of performing clerical work of a more important nature would then be eligible for advancement on equal terms with other clerical officers, in addition to their eligibility for promotion to the position of telegraphist.

Postal Assistants.

6 7 9. Your Commissioners received evidence from Postal Assistants' Associations in New South Wales and Victoria, and reference was also made to this class of officer by other Associations' representatives.

Duties of postal 680. Postal assistants are employed in the General Post Office, mainly assistants. in the Accounts, Mail, Telegraph, Electrical Engineer's, and Telephone Branches, and in suburban and country offices. Their duties at the General Post Office include sorting of postal notes, checking telegrams, delivery of

"called for" letters, and sale of stamps. In the suburban and country offices they perform general postal work, including counter work, Savings Bank work, and telegraphy. It was claimed that· in some instances postal assistants relieve postmasters, telegraphists, and clerical assistants in suburban and country offices.

Claims of postal assistants.

Case against claims of postal assistants.

681. It was further alleged that the employment of postal assistants on telegraphic work prevented the appointment of telegraphists, and thus restricted telegraphists' opportunities for advancement.

682. The claims advanced by the postal assistants were that those doing telegraphic and clerical work should be so graded ; that the salaries now paid are inadequate; and that the maximum salary should be increased to £168 a year, as follows :-Two years at £ll0, one year at £114, one year at £12), two years at £126, and then to £J56 by yearly increments of £6, remaining on £156 until vacancies occur, then advancing to £162 and £168. Under the present Classification it takes a postal assistant nineteen years to advance from £110 to £150.

683. Evidence was given by the Commonwealth Public SeTvice Com­ missioner and inspectors to the e:ffect that, at offices where postal assistants perform telegraphic work, postal duties predominate, and that it would be out of all reason to appoint telegraphists in such cases; that under State control in New South Wales these officers were designated "supernumerary oper­ ators " or " supernumerary assistants," with maximum salaries of £120 and £96 respectively; that postal assistants' maximum salary under State control in Victoria was £108; that most of the work they perform in General Post


Offices is routine work, and not worth 5th Class pay; that the counter work performed is simple and only of a minor clerical nature at best; and that there is nothing to justify its classification as clerical work. These witnesses contended that the salaries now paid are fair remuneration for the work,

and stated that postal assistants can obtain promotion by passing the clerical examination.

684. Since the above evidence was given, the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner has, to some extent, remodelled the classification of postal assistants. Provision has been made for positions of senior assistants at Grade XI. (£210) and Grade X. (£235) post offices, with maximum salary

of £156 attainable by yearly increments of £6. The maximum salary of postal assistants occupying certain positions in the General Post Offices, where the work is more clerical than General Division, has also been similarly increased under certain conditions. The classification of other postal assistants

whose work is purely General Division in character remains as at present. Your Commissioners consider that this re-classification has considerably improved the condition of many of these officials.

685. Your Commissioners cons1der that the designation "Postal Assis­ tant" is too general in character, as it embraces widely divergent classes of work. The work performed by a considerable number of these officers is unquestionablY General Division work, but it appears that in other cases,

especially at country and suburban offices, the work is similar to that required of clerical assistants. The spasmodic nature of the telegraphic work done at these offices does not justify the appointment of telegraphists, but your Commissioners recommend that the officers satisfactorily performing such work, in addition to other duties which more closely resemble clerical than

General Division work, should be transferred to clerical . positions, on passing the examination for appointment as telegraphists; a similar practice to be adopted in regard to postal assistants performing work of a semi-clerical character at the General Post Offices.

686. With' regard to postal assistants performing solely Genera Division duties, your Commissioners recommend that the maximum salary remain at £150, but be attainable as follows :-£60 to £no· by four annual increments, as at present; £110 for two years; thence to £150 by annual increments of £5.


6 8 7. The number of female officers on the permanent staff of the Post and Telegraph Department on 1st January, 1910,· was as follows:-Postmistresses Telephone attendants

Monitors and supervisors Postal assistants Clerks and clerical assistants Typists

Telegraphists, New South Wales Victoria South Australia Tasmania

Telegraph messengers, Victoria South Australia · Western Australia

Relieving officers

180 768 59 126

42 "! v


52 2









. \

Re-modelllng of classification.


Salaries recom­ mended for postal assistants doing General Division work.

Number of female officers.

- -- --- ---

Limitations of female employment.

Female telegraphists' qualifications.

Restriction of female employment.

Training methods not satisfactory.

Establishment of well-equipped schools advocated.

Dearth of efficient telegraphists.


Method of training.


688. Your Commissioners disapprove of the employment generally of female officers, except as telephonists, monitors, and typists. (See also paragraph 1072.) The admission of female employes to the Department is restricted to the position of telephonist and typist under General Division tests. Most of those now occupying other positions in the Service were admitted prior to Federation. ·

689. Evidence was given that female telegraphists are quite as capable as males for ordinary telegraphic work, but they are considered unsuitable for the heavierwork. Victoria is the only State in which female telegraphists are employed in the General Post Office. The representatives o·f the W omens' Post and Telegraph Association of Victoria complained that female tele­ are debarred from· promotion to the 4th Class. This was contra­

diCted by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, who stated that female telegraphists are not debarred from promotion if possessing the necessary qualifications.

6 9 0. Your Commissioners agree with the contention that female tele­ graphists now in the Service should be eligible for promotion where they display capacity for performing the higher class of work, but are of the opinion that females should not in the future -be appointed as telegraphists. The same opinion applies to female clerks, clerical assistants, and postal assis­ tants. (See also paragraph 1072.)



6 91. Your Commissioners discovered that effective training for the work of the various branches of the Department has been seriously neglected. This matter has been referred to in paragraph 29 of this Report.

6 9 2. The leading officials of the Department admitted that it is neces­ sary to make provision for training, and that at the chief offices schools of telegraphy and telephony should be established. The present practice is to afford General Division officials in the principal offices facilities for learning telegraphy by delegating senior telegraphists as instructional officers. The courses are purely voluntary, and the officials who attend must do so in their own time. This system has not been successful.

6 93. Representatives of Associations were unanimous in supporting the establishment of well-equipped schools of instruction. The Australian Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Officers' Association's representative alleged that it attempts to educate young officers in telegraphy by instruction in its journals, and that it has also established a library for that purpose. It was stated by the Telegraph Manager, Sydney, that many officers who had learnt operating by self-instruction never became proficient through want of proper initial tuition.

694. It was alleged that, through the want of provision for the effective training of telegraphists, there is not only a dearth of efficient telegraphists, but those who qualify for appointment are not of a standard that will furnish a thoroughly efficient service.

695. Your Commissioners recomme'nd that the Department establish in each of the chief centres a well-equipped school of instruction in charge of highly. competent instructors, and that attendance at such classes by those officers who desire to become telegraphists be made compulsory.

Training of Telephonists.

696. In the year 1907 the Department instituted a system of training for all telephone appointees, preparatory to taking up switchboard duties. It is stated that the practice in South Australia is for telephonists to be trained on the main switchboard at slack periods of the day, and that this is not beneficial to the switchboard, the subscribers, or the probationers . .


6 9 7. The representati¥e of the Female Telephone Attendants' Associa­ tion, New South \Vales, stated that the present system of training telephonists in that State is satisfact orv, and that it requires three months' training to fit a telephonist for the shift; It was stated that it takes 18 to 24

months to make an efficient telephonist. The Telephone Manager, Sydney, stated that a school of instruction for t elephonists is provided, at which they are afforded a month's training. This school was established after your Commissioners had commenced their inquiries, although the Department had issued instructions for the establishment of such schools of training in 1907. It was stated that a school of instruction for t elephonists had been established

at the Central Exchange, Melbourne, in the year 1907.

Schools of instruction.


6 9 8. Your Commissioners recommend that the present facilities for the Recommendations. training of prospective telephonists be made uniform, and that the instructions issued by the Central Executive be enforced.

Training of Fitters.

699. The inadequate provision for the general training of fitters and Attempts at proper linemen is a serious defect. The Chief Electrical Engineer stated thRt training. instructions have b <3en issued for the proper training of fitters, but that the staff has not been provided. These instructions were issued in the year

1907, and provide for a course of twelve months' training in the Department, which it was Rlleged cannot be procured elsewhere.

7 00. Your Commissioners consider that the training of fitters and junior technical officers should be more systematic, and that a staff for training should be provided.

701. Your Commissioners recommend that, in conjunction with these Recommendations. schools, the Department should establish suitable libraries dealing with electrical engineering, as applied to telegraphic and telephonic services. They consider that the thorough training of employes in the technical branches is most

essential, if the Commonwealth is to secure aJ1 economical and efficient service.

702. To illu.strate the great value attached to training, your Com­ missioners consider it appropriate to mention the system of training in operation in other countries.

Training in Britain.

703. In Great Britain probationers in the Post and Telegraph Depart­ ment. are drafted in to a training school, and undergo a course of fre e instruc­ tion until they receive permanent appointments.

Course of tree instruction.

704. It was stated that the National Telephone Companv of Great books tor Britain gives close attention to the training of its officers, and issue; t ext-books Junlors. to juniors for the purpose of t echnical education. The Chief Electrical Engineer endeavoured to arrange with this company for Australian officers

to be supplied with these text-books, but was unsuccessful.

Training in Germany.

705. In Germany the official education of the staff is provided for by Systematic courses of instruction. Prospective entrants into the service are allotted tn courses of instruction and practical work in the office under general service instructions, as well as under a series of individual instructions for particular

classes of officers. The books and charts of the German Post and Telegraph Department provide a base for the scientific education of the officials. In order to keep pace with the demands of the increasing staff, and to satisfy the desire for increased knowledge, as well as to place in the hands

of · the under officials good reading matter, every means are placed at the Books and disposal of the head offices to proclli'e instructive books and pamphlet s. pamphlets provided. The libraries of the head offices were said to contain, at the end of March, 1906, 66,000 works of 124,000 volumes, and that the yearly number of readers was 96,000. ·

System of imparting official knowledge.

Experimental workshop.

Training in America.


As a further means of increasing the scientific and general knowledge of the officials, a bi-monthly supplement of 10,000 copies to the Archive for Post and Telegraphs is published. It contains various articles and contribu­ tions regarding the affairs of the Department, both inland and foreign, as well as matters relating to the development of German colonies and related shipping. It also deals with natural science (especially science as applied to telegraphy and telephony ), geography and economics, so far as they relate to the affairs of the Department, and reviews of new literature concerning the above matters. The Archive affords a strong stimulus t.o officers to express themselves in writing on general branches of knowledge outside their own particular spheres.

Under the leadership of men with an academic training, an experimental workshop has been established, in which officers are instructed in and occupied with experimental physics, particularly magnetism and electricity, and construction work and mathematics.

706. In the telephone companies of America great attention rs also paid to the training of junior technical officers.


Labour-saving 7 0 7. During the course of their investigation your Commissioners devices in America. sought information regarding the adoption of suitable labour-saving

Card indexes for telephone records.

Mechanical contrivances in England.


appliances by the Department. Evidence was tendered by an assistant engineer stationed in Queensland, who had recently visited America, to the effect that many labour-saving devices in construction work are in use in that country, such as .hauling cables through conduits by motive power, and the use of aerial tramways for cables.

7 08. The same witness stated that in England and America telephone records are kept by means of card indexes, and that each subscriber has a card, on which faults are recorded, as well as a list of the apparatus supplied. The Chief Electrical Engineer stated that instruction" had been issued by the Central Executive for the introduction of card indexes, and loose leaf ledgers, for keeping records in connexion with the Telephone Branch; but that their introduction had been delayed by . want of funds.

709. Another witness stated that in England great use is made of mechanical contrivances for saving time and labour, and instanced automatic machines for selling post cards, automatic counting machines for counting postal notes. This witness also stated that in Manchester an endless carrier is used for carrying mail matter to the sorters; that a similar device is in use for carrying telegrams from operators to addressers, and from addressers to the despatch room, and that there is a network of tapes in the operating room to carry telegrams to and fro.

710. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the introduction of labour-saving devices is a matter of great importance, and recommend that close attention be given by the Department to this question. If periodical visits abroad were made by leading officials, as recommended in this Report, opportunities would be given them to become acquainted with labour-saving devices.


711 . The work of an extraneous character to postal business performed by the Department consists of-(1) Electoral work. (2) Customs work.

(3) Meteorological work. (4) Paying accounts for Home Affairs Department. (5) Savings Bank. (6) Sub-treasury work and payment of old-age pensions. (7) Sale of duty stamps. (8) Registration of births, marriages, and deaths.


712. Leading officials expressed varying opmwns in regard to the inclusion of these extraneous duties in the work of the Department. Some contended that post and telegraph officials should be relieved of extraneous work, or that, if compelled to assume such duties, it should be confined to

work which does not necessitate absence from the post-office, and that payment for all such work should be made to the Department and not to the officers.

713. It was also contended that the Department's officials should be relieved of the work of Divisional Returning Officers, as it interferes with their postal duties. It was alleged that in New South Wales the work of Divisional Returning Officers occupies about one-tenth of postmasters' time

in ordinary years, and about · one-sixth in election years. Many of the Associations' representatives were in agreement with the responsible officials that it would be advisable to relieve the Department of the work of Divisional Returning Officers.

714. The allowance made to each Divisional Returning Officer is £26 a year; for conducting an election an extra £25 is paid for city and suburban divisions, and £30 for country divisions, and the Department of Home Affairs provides clerical assistance for Returning Officers when necessary.

715. Complaints were made in some of the States that only Customs work was performed by certain postal officials, and that this caused con­ siderable inconvenience to .the Department. An officer of the Central Execu­ tive claimed that the Department performs work valued at £83,000 per

annum in connexion with weather reports for the Meteorological Bureau, and shipping advices, for the Department should receive payment.

716. The Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs stated that meteorological work can only be performed with the co-operation of the Post and Telegraph Department, and cqnsidered that the estimate of the witness above mentioned was excessive. This witness further contended that to

charge for inter-departmental services is unsound, as such a system would t end to create isolation, increase expenditure, and produce fictitious revenue.

71 7. It was stated that the payment of old-age pensions could be performed by postmasters in small offices, but not in large offices.

7 18. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner was of the opinion that electoral and other work of Government Departments should be done by postal officials, otherwise the cost would be enormous, and that if· an officer's work is valued at a certain amount for postal work, and he also does extraneous work outside office hours, the officer should be paid the


719. Your Commissioners cannot recommend the removal of many of these extraneous duties from the and Telegraph Department. The Department should continue to perform electoral work generally, but the work of Divisional Returning Officer, which demands that' the postal official

be absent from his office, should not be imposed upon postal officials.


Official opinions upon extraneous duties.

Work of returning officers.

Allowance for returning otHcer.

Meteoroloigcal work done without remuneration.

Estimate excessive.

Views of Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner.


·7 20. Your Commissioners recommend that for the payment of old-age pensions in large centres, where a considerable number of pensions have to be paid, other arrangements than employing postal officials as paymasters be · made.

7 2 1. If the extraneous work performed by the Postal Department, whether for a State or Commonwealth Department, necessitates extra assist­ ance, the cost of such assistance should be defrayed by the Department concerned. If the postal official, in the performance of extraneous duties,

is compelled to work beyond his official hours, he should receive overtime payment.



722. The power to appoint temporary employes is given by Section 40 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, which provides-(1) Whenever in the opinion of the Minister of a Department the prompt despatch of the business of a Department renders temporary

assistance necessary and the Commissioner is unable to provide such assistance from other

Departments in the State in which

such assistance is required, the Permanent Head or the Chief Officer shall select in such manner as rna y be prescribed from the persons whose names are upon the register in

the State in which such assistance is required such person or persons who are available as appear to be best qualified for such work, and they ·shall be paid at the same rate as is paid to the permanent employes for similar work, and shall be entitled to the same holidavs.

(2) Such person or persons may be employed to perform such work for any period not exceeding six months.

(3) No person who has been temporarily employed in any Depart­ ment for six months continuously or for nine months con­ tinuously where extended as hereinafter provided or for six months in the whole in any twelve months or for nine months continuously where extended as hereinafter provided shall during the six months following such temporary employment be eligible for further temporary employment in the Public Service.

(4) If it appears in the public interest to be desirable so to do the Com­ missioner may order that any person who has been temporarily employed in any Department for six months continuously may be temporarily employed for not more than three additional months.

(5) The services of any person temporarily employed may be dis­ pensed with at any time by the Minister or by the Permanent Head or Chief Officer.

( 6) Notwithstanding the provisions hereinbefore contained, the Governor-General, if it appears in the interest to be

desirable so to do, may in the case of temporary work in the carrying out of any public work or scheme, order' that the temporary employment of "all or any persons employed upon such work or scheme may be continued until the completion of the same .

723. The following tables for the years 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1909 show the growth of temporary employment in the Department :--YEAR 1906.




I Amount Persons. r



Central Staff 2 84

New South Wales 453 6,834

Victoria .. 215 5,303

Queensland .. .. 262 3,888

South Australia 239 1,957

Western Australia .. 287 2,411

Tasmania .. 68 3!H

Total Commonwealth 1,526 20,868


Central Staff New South Wales Victoria Queensland ..

South Australia Western Australia Tasmania ..


YEAR 1907.

. ·I ..

Number of Persons.


991 498 372 233

467 210

----Total Commonwealth YEAR 1908.


Central Staff New South Wales Victoria Queensland: .

South Australia Western Australia Tasmania ..

Total Commonwealth

-· -·-- ·-·---------------

"I ..

YEAR 1909.


Central Staff New South Wales .. I

Victoria I

Queensland .. ::I

South Australia .. .

Western Australia Tasmania ..

Total Commonwealth


Number of .Persons


1,353 442 498 248

274 233


Number of t'ersons.


1,257 525 352 255

138 198


.Am ount Expended.



19,810 17,129 6,412 2,502

3,679 3,923



Amo unt Expended .



38,942 18,325 11,135 3,713

4,552 4,577



I· Amount I Expended. £


29,228 14,614 7,949 3,837

3,901 3,301


724. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales condemned the practice of excessive temporary employment as being expensive and undesirable, and ascribed the excessive use of temporary employment to the following causes :-(1) Retention of officers by the Depart­

ment for long periods in positions from which their transfer had been approved; (2) temporary changes owing to absence on leave and furlough; and (3) scarcity of suitable boy labour.

725. This witness stated that i.n New South Wales the temporary vote for 1909-10 exceeded previous years by £7,800, although the permanent stafi had been increased by over 700.


Cause of temporary employment.


726. Departmental witnesses considered that shortage of staff was the principal cause for the employment of temporary employes.

Temporary employ­ ment deemed unsatisfactory.

'7 2 7. The practice of employing temporary hands, except in cases of emergency, was condemned by all witnesses. Representatives <;>f Asso­ ciations complained that temporary employment on work that is not of an emergency character caused general dissatisfaction and discontent within the Service. It was alleged that in some cases temporary employes obtained a higher wage, while in others they received a considerably lower wage, than the permanent officers. Temporary employment was deemed unsatisfactory by all the heads of branches, as, in addition to being expensive, it hampered proper organization. Your Commissioners have referred to this matter under the Management and Finance sections of this Report.

Authority for en­ gaging temporary assistance.


Power of exemption.

728. Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner desired that he should have full power to inquire into the necessity for temporary assist­ :;tnce, and to authorize or refuse same. Several leading officials desired that the Deputy Postmaster-General should have the power to employ temporary assistance as required without reference to the Public Service Inspector's register, and that the period of employment of efficient temporary men should

be twelve months or longer, instead of six months as prescrib ed by the Com­ monwealth Public Service Act.

729. Your Commissioners recommend that the system of temporary employment be restricted to purely emergency work, and that the registration, selection, and employment of this class of employes be under the control of the Staff Committee, should the proposed scheme of management be adopted. ' ·


730. This class of employe is distinct from the temporary employe class, and consists mostly of class exemptions confined to those occupied in connexion with non-official post-offices and construction work. The period of exemption is not limited.

'i 31. The power to appoint exempt officers is provided under Section 3 of the Commonwealth Public Se1·vice Act, which states that the Act shall not apply to any officer, or class of officers, to whom or to which, on the recom­ mendation of and for special reasons assigned by Commissioner, the Governor­ General declares that the provisions of this Act shall not apply.

732. The following tables show the number and cost of exempt officers in the Department for the years 1906 to 1909 :-

YEAR 1906.

------------------------------ - -


Central Staff New South Wales Victoria Queensland. . -South Australia Western Australia .. Tasmania ..

Total Commonwealth

Number of Persons.

2,927 2,578 1,670 976

414 542


Amount Expended.


53,844 46.,422 24:,800 13,151

8,111 10,410



Central Staff New South Wales .. Victoria '.

Queensland .. Sauth At18tta.lia Western .Australia .. Tssmlllnia . ,

tEAlt i907.

Total Commonwealth


Central Staff New South Wales , . Victoria ..

Queensland .• South Australia W el3tern Austtalia .. Tasmania ..

YEAR 1{}08,

.. .. .


Central Staff New S011th 'W ttles •• Victoria Queensland ..

South Australia ..

Western Australia .. Tasmania ..

YEAR 1909.

Totai Commonwealth ·· · '··

Number of i>ersons.

3,852 3,442 1,970 988

595 443


Ntih1bli'r o! Persons,


3;996 3,931 2;169 1,026

1,014: 463


Amount };xpimded.

59,819 53,025 25,673 14,679

8,840 9,542


AJ!lbU!'lt Elipimded.



72,113 62,499 35,502 17,275

12,633 10,662



.Ninnber oi Persom.


3f917 2,141

'· 1,152



Amount Ex}Jended.



83,463 74,630 37,383 21,18!:1

17,287 10,993



7g3. The number of' exempt is ovei 13';006 (exceeding the Enormous number number o! perma.nent ofllcers}, who are entir_ ely the PFOVisions of the of exempt h P- bi' S . . A t .d h . r· ·t· d . employes. Commonwealt u. w ervwe c , an w oae i'!e ed ton an ·. appomtment tests, in the majority of cases, with the superior officers of the Department.

734. Several complaint& were made ae ro the employment of exempt officers. It was et&ted that in Adelaide about half the staff. employed as linemen are e1tempt;- some ha-ving been exempt for three years. It was claimed that this system operates· unfairly to perma;nent officers in country parties,

who should be given p:reietenoo of employment in eity parties.-'7 35.- A Tasmanian witness stated that· in Tasmania exempt officers Exempt officers in (mostly young. women} i\l'e employed at per anJJ;um to perform clerical Tasmania. work in eountry ·; that such officB:ts deal with money ·orders and

postal notes, and act 318 rBlieving office-rs to the o:fikier in eharge when on Ieave. Some of them, it was- alleged, work as domestics for postmistresses in pa-rt payment of bolll'd.:

Commissioners that th.e employment. o£. exempt :tt6eomxMndation.

officers be testflCted as . much as possible to semi-official, . allowan.ce, and r-eceiving The of this class of official should be made

by direction of th.e Staff Coinnnttee, if the proposed s6heme of management be adopted. F.8564.

Highly educated officers not necessary.

Practical experience versus theoretical knowledge.

Transfer from General Division.

Objections to examination.

Tricky examination.

Fanciful examination.

Public Service Commissioner's claim for highly­ educated officials.



737. Evidence was submitted that highly-educated officers are not necessary for the executive work of the Department; that admission to the Service should be by an easy competitive examination ; and that promotion should be secured by a non-competitive examination until the standard of £200 a year is attained.

7 38. Complaints were made by leading officials that competitive examinations are frequently misleading, owing to the nervousness of candidates. Other witnesses contended that practical experience is superior to theoretical examinations, and that in certain branches of the Service the examinations should be a practical test unde_r working conditions.

7 3 9. Representatives of Associations complained that in the competitive examinations for promQtions some of the best officers frequently failed through nervousness, while officers said to be non-efficient from a practical stand-point passed the examination.

7 40. Representations were made that the 'examination for transfer from the General to the Clerical Division should be made easier. It was contended that it is unfair to expect an officer, after working all day, to engage in night study, and to compete with students fresh from school.

7 41. Objections were raised by representatives of the Mail Branch that despatching officers receive promotion to supervisors on passing a clerical examination, and it was represented that a practical test was the best means of gauging the qualifications of such officers for promotion.

7 42. It was contended that the educational portion of the examination for admission to the Construction Branch is tricky, too severe, and unnecessary, as it prevents many practical men from gaining admission to the Service.

7 43. It was stated that the. examination fixed for appointment as telegraphists was too difficult and too fanciful, as skill in operating was required rather than scholastic attainments.

7 44. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, in refutation of these alleged disabilities, stated-A remarkable feature of the evidence placed before the Commission has been the expression of opinion by officers of the Department,

including the Permanent Head and several of the chief officers, that well-educated officers are not necessary to the work of the Department, and this is supported by the desire of witnesses­ generally interested ones-to secure some modification of existing examination conditions. During the whole term of my office as Public Service Commissioner, no question has given me greater concern than the manifest educational unfitness of many of the officers filling responsible positions throughout the Department. No doubt this was inseparable from the system formerly prevailing in most States of appointment by political patronage without regard to mental equipment or qualification,. I am convinced that much of the difficulty of administration experienced in this Department since Federation has been due to the lack of educational capacity throughout the various branches. The highest degree of efficient administration is only obtainable by the exercise of trained intelligence, and this is only possible where the officer has been endowed with a sound educational foundation upon which to build his experience of later years. The view is apparently held by witnesses that, as much of the Departmental work is routine in character, average intelligence, combined with a minimum of education; •ia. ,ap that is requisite ; but I am unable to acquiesce in that view. As a large ofemployer of labour, whether clerical or


otherwise, the Commonwealth is entitled to attract to its service men and youths who are well equipped from an educational stand-point, more especially as higher rates are paid than are obtainable outside. The telegraph . messenger of to-day may be

the Deputy Postmaster-General of the future, and it behoves every one interested in the welfare of the service to assist on thoroughly educated officers. Large industrial corporations recog­ nise the value of not only amongst their higher-paid

officials, but throughout the rank and file, and the fact cannot be gainsaid that in a Postal Department, as in all other large under­ takings, a full measure of education makes for development of individuality, initiative, and organizing capacity. Much of the work of . the Postal Department is scientific and technical

in its character, and it is an accepted axiom that effective technical education is impossible without a thorough preparatory ground­ This fact, . in relation particularly to postal employes,

has been recognised in other countries. Reference has_ been made in evidence to the examination required under the Act for transfer of officers from the General . Division to the Clerical Division. It has been stated that after completion of

a hard day's work, officers of the General Division have little inclination or time for serious study, and that admission to the Clerica,l ranks should depend upon practical knowledge of the work. Apart from the fact that many General Division officers

manage to find time to study and succeed in passing highly creditable examinations, between 200 and 300 having already received transfer by examination, the point has been overlooked that, added to the educational efficiency thus gained, the officer

who is willing. to devote his spare moments to self-improvement evinces self-reliance, energy, industry, and perseverance, which are a considerable to any public department. The Common­ wealth requires these men, and is gradually securing them by the very system of examination so strenuously objected to by officers

who would prefer advancement by more easy and comfortable methods. ·I appreciate to the full the value of practical training, but such training is worse than useless where the mental equipment of the officer is inadequate. Of 384 appointments made to the Clerical Division in the Postmaster-General's Department during the past six years, no less than 348 have been by transfer from the

General Division, only 36 appointments having been made from outside the Public Service. ·

An argument which has been repeatedly used in evidence by witnesses in several States against the existing examination for traniJfer from the General to the Clerical Division is that officers who are engaged in work all day, and often at night, cannot hope to be

able to compete against youths fresh from school or college. This statement is made under a misapprehension of the facts, as a reference to the examination list will show clearly that officers of the General Division have never been required to compete against

outside candidates, but only amongst · themselves, separate examination lists being compiled for candidates within the Public Service. It is found, moreover, that the successful candidates from the General Division who have secured transfer to the Clerical ranks comprise, not only youths, but men up to an advanced

age in life, with lengthy periods of service-officers who have reaped the reward of devotion to study and self-improvement and of sacrifice of private time after performance of their daily duty. It has been stated in evidence that the exammation for linemen is of

such a character that good workmen have been deterred from entering for the examination, this statement having been made particularly in reference to South Australia. At the last examina­ tion for linemen held in South Australia, out of twenty-four


Defence ot the present system.

; '


Oftl.cers under-educated.

Successful examinees rarely failures.


entrants, only one candidate failed in the educational test. ln all, 1,457 candidates have presented themselves at the various examinations fpr linemen throughout the Commonwealth, and of this number only 174, or 11 per cent., have failed to attain the required standard in the educational section. Experience has shown that the educational test is most desirable and necessary, more especially as the higher positions of line foremen and line inspectors are filled from the r11nks of linemen, and in such posts it is imperative that the occupants should be able to write clear calculate estimates, and carry out duties of a clerical

nature. Unless a measure of educational capacity were secured on appointment of linemen, complaints would arise on the promotion of a junior lineman over a senior because of greater efficiency. It is admitted by responsible officers that the linemen who passed the Commonwealth examination are the better tradesmen and better workmen, and the fact cannot be gainsaid that this is due partially to an insistence upon a fair educational capacity. The relative efficiency of labour throughout the world is largely governed by educational conditions, and it will invariably be found that side by side with illiteracy is also inefficiency of labour. Moreover, the Commonwealth should not seek to draw into its service men who can never proceed beyond the lowest positions. It i"l generally these who raise the loudest complaints that other men pass over thei:n when promotions are made. It would be a decidedly retrograde step to reduce in any way the present standard of educational fitness for entrance to the Commonwealth service, and one which would re-act seriously on the future of the Department .

. 745. Further, this witness stated that the Department is at present suffering for want of prope:dy educated officers, about 60 per cent. of the total number of officers being under the requisite standard.

746. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that the entrance examination system is beneficial to the Department, and that a successful examinee is rarely a failure as an officer, and those who pGss are better office-rs than those who do not.

747. Several witnesses in support ot their allegations that the exami­ nations are too diffi:cult, exibited to your Commissioners examples of examina­ tion papers set.

7 48. The general examin11tions for entrance into the Service an.d pro­ motions within the Service are as follow (1) Professivnai Division-For assistant and junior assi:sMnt in

, technical subjects.

(2) Olerical .

(a) For llipl.Jo,intment as . The candidate has to pass the followtng compulsory subJects:­ lland writing. Dict11tion.

English. Arithmetic. Geography. English history. Option9.1 . subjects-

Mathematics. · - ;-,

Latin . .;German. French. Elementary physics.

Shorthand and tnrewriting. One or two of these subjects must be taken, but not more than two.



(b) Cle-rks to qualify to receive £UO per annum, The exftmina· tion is on work.

(c) For appointment as

and receiving at 25 words a minute,

Handwriting, dictation, English, arithmetic, and geography, ·

(d) Telegraphists for promotion to Grades IV, and :25 to 32 words a minute, receiving

· 26 EJ, min.ute 1 an.d

(3) General Division-(a) For appointment as telegraph messenger-= Subjects--Handwriting, spelling, and arithmetic,

(b) Telegraph messengers for promotion to higher positions m General Division-Subjects-Handwriting, spelling, and (c) For appointment as telephone attendant­

Subjects-Handwriting, spelling, and arithmetic,

(d) For appointment as assistant, letter carrier, mail driver,· and. Subjeots.:._Handwriting, spelling, and arithmetic. (e) For appointment as junior instrument

Subjects-Writing, spelling, arithmetic, and practical subjects.

(/) For advancement of instrument fitter beyond £110.-­ Practioal subjects. (g) For appointment as pole dresser-Subjects-Handwriting, spelling, and arithmetic, and

practical tests.

(h) For appointment as Subjects-Handwriting, spelling, arithmetic, and prac­ tical subjects. (i) For appointment as fireman-

Subjects-Writing, spelling, arithmetic, and practical subjects.

(j) For district telephone supervisor­ Practical subjects. (k) For assistant t.elephone Subjects--English, spelling, arithmetic, and practical


(l) Miscellaneous, such as carpenter, sailmaker, assistant elec trical light branch, testing officer Electrical Branch.

(m) To qualify for transfer to Clerical Division. (Same exami­ nation as for appointment as clerks.)

749. Your Commissioners approve of the system of competitive exami­ nations for admission to the Public Service, as this is the only means of testing educational suitability, and avoiding the possioility of either social or political patronage. They recommend that the examinations for admission to the Professional and Clerical Divisions (including telegraphists) be maintained at the present standard, with the exception that the dictation test in the latter division be made more reasonable. 'e:J

Competitive entrance examina­ tion approftli.


Unsuitable dictation tests.

Examples of dictation papers.


Unpractical examinations.

Lineman's dictation test.


750. Your Commissioners consider that the dictation test should not consist of mere jumbles of unusual words, as are found in the following extracts from dictation papers for the years 1907 and 1908 for admission to the Clerical Division:-

The recent conference of the plenipotentiaries from the autonomous dependencies of Britannia's Empire has been the cynosure of all neighbouring political eyes, the changing ephemeral phases have afforded a diurnal diversion as fascinating as the magical illusions of the phantasmagoria, or the luminous but evanescent symmetrical patterns''of the kaleidoscope. Its flashes of eloquence and rhetoric have scintillated with the captivating brilliance of a pyrotechnical display. This it was, with the rites and ceremonies of national and municipal welcome, that cast[ a glamour over the assemblage, and rendered it picturesque to the popular eye. The science of the physician has lately developed in

a more sagacious perspicacity in diagnosis and a keener exactitude of nomenclature. As to the former, pathology, in its inquiry · as to origins, has profited by the microscopic work of the bac­ teriologist, while the practice of medicine has accelerated cures

by new drugs and massage. Much contemporary phraseology is only veteran terminology masquer­ ading in a novel garb. Where our ancestors suffered from sore throats we now collapse from tonsilitis. The .mysticism of the

spiritualist dignifies itself as theosophy and psychical research ; toothache is neuralgia; appendicitis accounts for internal inflam­ mation ; and the municipal health officer is a professor of hygiene.

7 5 1. Your Commissioners consider that the examination for clerks to receive the minimum wage of £ll0 is unnecessary, and should

be abolished ; and that the prescribed t est of ten minutes for telegraphists for promotion to higher grade is not a sufficient t est of their practical qualifi­ cations, and is unfair to nervous examinees.

7 52. Your Commissioners recommend that the telegraphic test should consist of three. t ests each of an hour's duration on a busy line, under actual working conditions, and are of the opinion that the elementary testing section of the examination should be retained.

7 53. Your Commissioners consider that in the General Division there are too many examinations, and that this number could with advantage be reduced. Your Commissioners recommend that there be only one entrance examination in handwriting, spelling, and arithmetic, for telegraph messengers, telephone attendants, assistants, letter carriers, mail drivers, porters, and junior instrument fitters, the further training of successful .examinees to be undertaken by the Department.

7 54. Your Commissioners consider that the papers set for pole dressers, linemen, and firemen should deal more with practical requirements, and less attention should be given to merely scholastic subjects.

7 54 A. Upon1 a perusal of the examination papers for 1908, your Commissioners found that in most of the States during recent years the Commonwealth Pu:blic Service Commissioner has set dictation papers more in keeping with the class of work the examinees would have to perform.

755. Your Commissioners recommend a review of the dictation papers set, so as to fix a more reasonable and uniform standard. The following extract from the dictation part of an examination paper set in Western Aus.tralia .on . 21st March,.l908, for. alpointment of lineman, Grade I., is of such as to be of httle practwa use:-


Another day of agitation and terror closed, and was followed by a night the strangest and most terrible that England had ever seen. Early in the evening an attack was made by the rabble on a stately house which had been built a few months before. Some troops were sent thither; the mob was dispersed, tranquility seemed to be restored, and the citizens were retiring quietly to

their beds. Just at this time arose a whisper which swelled fast into fearful clamour, and spread into every street and alley of the capital. It was said that the Irish were marching on London and massacrrng every man, woman, and child on the road. At

one in the morning the drums of the militia beat to arms. Every­ where terrified women were weeping and wringing their hands, while their fathers and husbands were equipping themselves for fight.


7 56. Under the scheme of management recommended in this Report the appointment of district telephone supervisors would rest mainly on the recommendation of the Staff Committee, the members of which would be staff Committee acquainted with the officers seeking promotion, and would select them on to recommend

their general fitness. This principle should apply to all promotions within the General Division, except for those officers who desire to qualify as tele-graphists, clerks, or sorters.

7 57. Under the present practice General Division officers may obtain clerical status by passing the entrance examination for clerks, or the examination for appointment as telegraphists. In the latter examination, t ests in sending and receiving at 25 words a minute are substituted for English history, and

the one or two optional subjects of mathematics, Latin, French, German, elementary physics, and shorthand and typewriting.

7 58. While many officers have procured transfer from the General Division to the Clerical Division by passing the clerical examination, there are many other officers possessed of practical knowledge gained during their service, and said to be capable, who have been debarred from such transfer

by inability to pass the prescribed examination.

Examination for transfer to Clerical Dtvtaton.

7 59. Your Commissioners consider it important that as many officers RecommendB.tion. as possible should acquire a knowledge of telegraphy, and recommend that officers in the General Division be made eligible for clerical positions on passing the examination as now prescribed for appointment as t elegraphist, namely, sending and receiving messages, handwriting, dictation, English,

arithmetic, and geography, and that the present clerical entrance examination be confined to candidates who desire to enter the Department as cJerks only. If this practice be adopted the facilities for the Department securing good all-round officers would be increased. ·

Fees for Examinations.

760. The fees prescribed for examinations are as follow:-For appointment to the Profession;tl or Clerical Division, 15s. ; for appointment to the General Division for a position other than that of telegraph messenger, 7s. 6d. ; for appointment as telegraph

messengers, 5s. ; for promotion from the position of telegraph messenger to other positions in the General Division, 5s. The amount paid will be refunded if the applicant is found to be ineligible for examination, or if satisfactory reasons are furnished

as to inability to attend an examination. '

761. Dlaims were made that fees for examinations of officers within Claim for the Service should be abolished. A witness stated that £3,000 was collected abolition of fees. within the preceding twelve months for all examinations, and alleged that


the expenses of the same were only about half that amount. The Common­ wealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales contended that the examination fees a:re just, and that examinations should pay for themselves, but was of opinion that for those outside the Service ?ne fee ahould cover mote than one examination, if necessary. ·

7 62. Regulation. 220, governing fees for examination; was amended as recently as June> 1910, by the following addition:-Provided that at examinations limited to officers of the Public Service, or examinations at which such officers in competition with

persons outside the Public Service, the Commissioner may . decide according to the circumstances of the case and the conditions of the examination, whether a fee should be imposed upon all or any of the candidates who are officers of the Public Service, and, i.f such fee be imposed, may determine the amount of same.

Recommendation. 7 63. Your Commissioners recommend that if the fees now paid show

Alleged improper promotions.

:Methods of promotions.

Alleged recogni­ tion of merit.

Official patronage can be exercised.

a surplus over the expenses of the examinations, a :reduced rate sufficient to cover the actual cost be charged,


764. Numerous complaints were received :from representatives of Associations that improper promotions had been made, and individual cases were cited. Evidence was submitted by controlling officers, and also by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector in each State, contradicting these statements, and alleging that beyond the test of merit nothing had influenced thetn either in recommending or making the promotions,

765. In New South Wales the representative of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Association claimed that promotion should be by seniority and merit. He stated that should merit alone be the determining factor it was feared that the recommending officer might prejudicially influence the proposed promotions. Another witness in New South Wales contended that efficiency, and not seniority, should be the basis of promotion, but officers passed over should have the right of appeal. One witness stated that avenues of promotion are closed in many ways ; that the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner has never made known the precise conditions under which promotions are made, and that· senior officers should be afforded facilities

of proving their qualifications before being passed over by juniors. Several individual cases of alleged improper consideration in the matter of promotio:n.s were presented. ·

766. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that the principles governing promotions are perfectly well known by the Service; that preference is given to the officer with the highest qualifica­ tions; and that seniority is not considered unless there is equal efficiency.

7 67. In Victoria the general opinion expressed by the representatives of was that sho11;ld .he based on merit and seniority,

and that m cases of equal ment senwnty should establish preference. contended that patronage can be exercised in making

and that Ill: country .of!ices have not the same opportunity

of promotiOn as those m the City. Individual cases of alleged injustice were presented. · ·

7 68. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of Victoria contended that all officers receive impartial treatment in regard to promotions.

7f?9. In addition to .quoting several individual of unjust

promotiOn, the representatives of the Commonwealth Pubhc ServiCe Associa­ tion in Queensland stated that officers of the Central Executive are more rapidly promoted than officers in the States, although their work is not more


valuable. This witness alleged that departmental influence, and not merit, controls promotions. He ·stated that certain recommendations by the Deputy Postmaster-General had been refused without inspection of the work, and that promotions from 5th to 4th Class depends more upon the

necessities of the classification than on merit.

770. This latter statement was indorsed by the official who was Deputy Postmaster-General of Queensland at the period referred to, and who stated that he had recommended eight or ten 5th Class officers in Queensland for promotion to the 4th Class, and only the first and last on the list were

approved; the others were deserving officers; and a serious injustice was done to them. Their promotion was refused without proper investigation by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector. The officer last on the list was in the staff room, and in closer touch with the Commonwealth Public

Service Inspector than the others.

7 71. The Commonwealth :Public Service Inspector of Queensland stated that the promotions to 4th Class, as recommended by the then Deputy Postmaster-General, were not justified, as they would have overloaded the Accounts Branch ; that the two officers recommended by the inspector were

Belected on merit, and not because they were in touch with the inspector.

7 7 2. The present. Deputy Postmaster-General of Queensland stated that very few men are coming forward to take responsible positions. This witness considered that the practice of promoting officers by seniority should be abolished, and merit considered before anything else, otherwise the service

will deteriorate; that the best men cannot always be selected, because there may be others senior to them who cannot be passed over, because these officers cannot be said to be unable to do the work; and that merit can be ascertained by practical tests.

773. The representative of the Post and Telegraph Association in South Australia contended that senior officers, if capable of doing the work satisfactorily, should be given the first opportunity of promotion, and stated that the local Commonwealth Public Service Inspector was mainly directed by the claims of seniority, subject to ability of the officer concerned to do the work. A leading postal official stated, however, that the officers in closest touch with the Head of the Department had the best chance of promotion.

7 7 4. The. representative of the Post and Telegraph Association of Western Australia stated that the senior competent officer should receive first consideration in matters of promotion. He stated that chance, and not merit, seemed, however, to be the most important factor in promotions;

that junior offieers who happen to be acting in positions are promoted over seniors with equal qualifications, without the latter being given an oppor­ tunity to demonstrate their :fitness ; and that officers in one branch should not lose the right to promotion to a vacancy in another branch, but should be

appointed on probation, in order to afford them an opportunity to demonstrate their fitness. This witness submitted instances of what he termed haphazard promotions. Other witnesses gave evidence of a somewhat similar nature, and mentioned, in support, several instances of alleged improper promotions.

Departmental inftuence, not merit, said to control promotions.

Serious injustice.

Promotions not justified.

Cannot always select best men.

Claims of seniority.

Chance and not merit most important factor.

775. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector ofWestern Australia Merit stated to be stated that, in promotions in classes above the 5th Class, merit is paramount, paramount. but where seniority and fitness are equal, seniority directs the decision as to promotion. He stated that the practice adopted to determine the qualifications

of an officer for promotion out of several eligible candidates was to make inquiries from chief officers and others; examine the officer's work, and, if necessary, make a practical test. This witness stated that no officer in the · .General Division entitled to promotion had been overlooked,


:Promotion based on widely divergent lines.

Officers ignorant of rudiments of their work:.

Necessary discrimination not exercised.


'i 7 6. The representative of the Tasmanian Post and Telegraph Associa­ tion stated that promotions are made in different cases on widely divergent · lines. He claimed that some definite method of promotion-merit, seniority, or something else was desirable.

'i 7 7. The Chief Electrical Engineer for the Commonwealth stated that, in his opinion, merit has not received sufficient consideration; that promotion by seniority has resulted in many officers neglecting to qualify for senior positions as they become vacant; that there are officers in senior positions ignorant of the rudiments of their work, who would have been passed over years ago in any commercial undertaking ; that advancement should be determined more strictly by merit, and promotion from class to class made dependent on prescribed minimum qualifications ascertained by examination. He complained that seniors who can do the work cannot be passed over by juniors who could do it better.

778. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, in addition to corroborating the evidence of his inspectors, stated that Chief Officers have not exercised the necessary discrimination in recommending promotions, and that chief postal officials received credit from the Service for recommend­ ing increases, while the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner bore the blame of refusing them.

Discontent caused. 'i 'i 9. Your Commissioners are satisfied that the present system causes considerable discontent in the Service, and in the scheme of management recommended the existence of an outside authority adjudicating in these matters has been removed.

Recommendation. 'i 80. Your Commissioners that in promotion merit be the

only determining factor, and that the Staff Committee in each State be the recommending authority. The officials· should have reserved to them the right to appeal to the Board of Management in cases where they are aggrieved, or consider they have received unfair treatment. This method of dealing with promotions would cause indiscriminate recommendations to cease; and the chief officials in each State would be compelled to exercise their responsibilities in this matter.

More equitable scheme.

:Power to remove an o.fllcer desired.

Incapable ot!lcers.

'i 81. Your Commissioners consider that the system of dealing with promotions as recommended would be a more equitable scheme for dealing with deserving officers, and less cumbersome in its operation.


'i 8 2'. Leading officials complained that the provisions of the. Common­ wealth Public Service Act for dealing with inefficient officers are inoperative, owing to the precautions surrounding them. Some of the witnesses alleged that it is futile to take action against incompetent men.

783. The. Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner claimed that he should possess the necessary power to remove an officer if satisfied of his unfitness, without having to prove it under the law.

784. Representatives of Associations urged that ·Section 65 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act should be amended to afford officers reported as incompetent or incapable the right of having the case referred to a remodelled Board of Inquiry. An Association witness also requested that offi?ers. incapable of discharging their duties through physical, mental, ori const1tutwnal reasons should not be regarded as incompetent, but should be retired with full rights.


785. Section 65 of the Commonwealth Puhlic Service Act 1902 provides Commonwealth that- Public Service Act provision for

If an officer appears to the Commissioner after a report from the Per­ manent H ead or an inspector, to be unfit to discharge or incapable of discharging the duties of his office efficiently, the Commissioner or any inspector may refer the question to a Board of Inquiry,

and if such Board finds that such officer is unfit to discharge or incapable of discharging the duties of his office, the Governor­ General may, on the recommendation of the Commissioner, deal with such officer either by calling upon such officer to retire from

the Public Service or by transferring him to some other position ; and every such officer if called upon to retire shall retire accord­ ingly.

786. Your Commissioners consider that it is essential for the efficient working of the Service that the management of the Department should be provided with more effective machinery to deal with incompetent officers.

7 8 7. Your Commissioners recommend that the proposed Staff Com­ mittee in each State be vested with the power of recommending the transfer, reduction, or retirement of incompetent officers, subj ect to the right of appeal by officers concerned to the Board of Management.


7 88. Several leading officials admitted that some officers under their control were overpaid. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated, in reference to this matter, as follows:-In framing the classification scheme, it was felt by me that while many of

, the officers whose duties were appraised were found to be overpaid for the work done, any action in the direction of reducing salaries would have savoured of hardship and possibly of repudiation of obligations entered into by the States. . . . . . . . While

full legal power existed under the Commonwealth Public Service Act to reduce every officer to a salary corresponding to the classified value of his work, such action would, from humane considerations alone, have been seriously questioned. · For

example, the maximum salary of Class V. in the Victorian Service was for many years £200 under State law, while the maximum under Commonwelath law was fixed at £160. The reduction of fifth class officers in Victoria would have involved a loss of £40 per

officer to a large number of officers. Instead of adopting the drastic method of arbitrarily reducing salaries, it was decided by me that the more equitable course was to mark these officers as over­ paid, and to gradually bring them into consonance with the

classified value of positions as vacancies and changes occurred throughout the Public Service. (This was in keeping with the practice adopted in the Victorian Public Service on several occasions prior to Federation on the passage of amending Acts

affecting the classification of the Service.) Such a course has been fully justified, much heart-burning has been avoided, and the number of over-paid officers is now considerably reduced. The total amount of over-payment of officers in all States, Post­

m::tster-General's Department, is now about £10,000 out of an annual salaries expenditure of £1,500,000, and even this amount of overpayment will rapidly disappear.

Since this evidence was tendered your Commissioners have obtained a return, showing that in January, 1910', the amount of overpayment had decreased, and now stands at about £6,000.

incapable offi.cers.

Sta1f Committee vested With power of recommendation.

Commonwealth Public Service ;commissioner • a statement.


Salaries in excess of work-value unjustifiable.

789. Your Commissioners are strongly of the opmwn that it is not justifiable to expend public funds in paying salaries in excess of work value, yet the positions of these officers were such under pre-Federal control that the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner acted humanely in retaining their services, with the object of absorbing them in positions more commen-surate with their salaries. ·


Position in New South Wales acute.

7 90. Through officers receiving furlough immediately before retirement considerable disabilities have been imposed on the Service, owing to the appoint­ ment of acting officials to their positions. It was stated by several experienced officials of the Department that officers so appointed are disinclined to assume full responsibilities, or to institute reforms. In 1906, the position in New South Wales was so acute, through a number of high officials being on furlough, that the Department in that State for a lengthy period was administered, to a considerable degree, by acting officials.

Sul!gestion by Commonwealth Publio Service Commissioner.

7 91. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that the provisions of the Audit Act preyent the payment of two salaries for the one position. This witness suggested as a remedy that officers entitled to fur­ lough should take their furlough some considerable time before they are due for retirement, and that when officers enter on furlough immediately prior to retirement their successors should be selected and appointed as acting officials,

but should not receive the higher salary until the date of retirement of the officer on furlough has arrived.

Recommendation. 792. Your Commissioners recommend that the appointment of acting officers be abolished, and suggest, in lieu of granting furlough to retiring officers, those officers be retained until their retiring age, and then be granted an honorarium equivalent to the salary represented by the period of furlough.

Delays in filling vacancies.

Reasons for delays.

Appointments should be ante-dated.


793. Complaints were made by many witnesses that great delays occur in filling vacancies, sometimes to the extent of six months,. and that officers eventually promoted to the vacant positions lose salary and seniority through such delays, and that the time of the relieving staff is occupied in filling offices temporarily vacant.

7 94. It was alleged that the delay is generally due to the failure of the Department to make recommendations within a reasonable time, and to want of expedition in carrying out changes approved by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector; also to obstacles raised by officers against their transfer, and the desire to secure economy in salary expenditure resulting from these delays.

7 9 5. The Association representatives contended that when officers are promoted to vacancies the appointments should be ante-dated to the period at which the officers entered on their duties. The present practice is to date such promotions from one month after the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner has given his decision.

796. It was stated by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector, New South Wales, that it frequently happens that the officer temporarily :filling a vacancy is not permanently appointed to the position.

Recommendation. 7 9 7. Your Commissioners recommend that. when new positions are created no avoidable delay should take place in making the appointments. When vacancies occur in the Department, appointments to fill them should be made as early as practicable, and the officer appointed should receive the increased salary (if any) from the date upon which he assumes his new duties ..



798. Evidence was given by leading officials, the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner and his Inspectors, and representatives of the Associa­ tions, as to the justice of the periodic transfer of officers stationed in remote districts to more congenial localities. The general complaint was that officers

in outlying districts are not systematically transferred.

7 99, It was requested that, owing to the harsh conditions, and the want of opportunity to improve their status, officers should be transferred after, at the most, five years' service in remote districts.

800. Evidence was given to the effect that in VVestern Australia, officials employed in remote places in that State should be transferred to more congenial centres after three years' service in those places, and that appointing married men to such places should be avoided as much aspossible.

801. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that orders have been issued that officers who have been in outlying districts for five years should, if possible, be given the opportunity of returning to more settled parts. It was alleged that many officers refuse to come in, and that it is very difficult to get men to go out to such districts.·

802. Your Commis5ioners recommend that service in remote districts (except in cases where the officials concerned desire to remain longer) should not exceed.five years.


803. Leading officials were examined regarding the general effect of Associations on. the discipline and general working of the officials. The Permanent Head of the Department stated that, in his opinion, Associations only represent minorities of the officials, and that they did not assist the Department; that, in his opinion, the Associations are endeavouring to control

the Department through politicians; and that attacks on the Department should not appear in Association journals.

804. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner admitted that some Associations have suggested reforms, which, while not of much signi­ ficance, have been of assistance to the Department, but stated that Associa­ tions claim credit unduly for advantages gained by officers. He stated that his experience during the past seven years had been that generally the Asso­

ciations of officers have been fair in their representations, and reasonably moderate in their demands for concessions, but he considered it his dutv to say that, on the other hand, individual members of Associations have lost no opportunity of endeavouring by and distortion of facts and

exaggeration of detail to secure concessions and privileges which would have been unfair to other sections of the Service and to the Commonwealth. This witness considered that, while some of the Associations had been effective towards the harmonious working of the Service, others, with an exaggerated

conception of their powers in exerting political influence, had devoted their efforts almost solely to self-aggrandisement, while questions of departmental efficiency or public benefit had been merely trifled with. Further, the Com­ monwealth Public Service Commissioner considered that, under proper control, Associations could exercise considerable power for good.

. 805. Another important witness claimed that Associations for social and protective purposes were justifiable. He alleged that some Associations, and officers, have acted di.sloyally in attacking the Department in their journals, in the public press, and in circularizing Members of Parliament in regard to a Royal Commission. He submitted that Associations should be confined to their proper spheres, as they possess legitimate avenues for ven­ tilating their grievances. This witness contended that there should be only

one Association, if possible, for the whole Department.


Periodic transfer of officers.

Order re outlywg districts.


Associations do not assist

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's evidence.

Individual members of Associations guilty of distortion of facts.

Some Associations effective, others exaggerated conception of powers.

Influence under proper control.

Justification for Associations.

Associations and discipline.

Concessions obtained by Associations.

Suggested improvement by Association.

Association:: and control of Department.

Discipline not undermined.

New Associations formed.

Associations make for contented service.



806. Another official witness stated that Associations are beneficial if they keep within limits, and are led by reasonable officers, and confine themselves to class grievances. Many official witnesses expressed the opinion that Associations did not undermine discipline. The representatives of the Associations expressed the opinion that the Associations separately and collectively insisted upon discipline being maintained by their members. They contended that the members were in no sense disloyal, and stated that the charge of improper attacks on the administration in their journals was unfounded. They claimed that their Associations assist the administration by reducing the of individual

807. The Associations' representatives claimed that certain conces­ sions had been made by the Commonwealth Public Service- Commissioner on representations made by the Associations, such as-(1) Removal of embargo in regard to municipal rights.

(2) The granting of the 5 per cent. living allowance in Western Aus-tralia. (3) Issue of seniority lists. (4) Adding days in lieu to annU:alleave of country officers. (5) Extension of the period of eligibility of successful candidates. (6) Accumulation of annual leave in remote districts. (7) Supplying regulations to all offices. (8) Reduction of test for telegraphists in third subdivision

and 4th Class. (9) Abolition of examination of telegraphists at £120.

808. The representatives of the Victorian Letter Carriers' Association claimed that they suggested decentralization of suburban letter carriers, and that the adoption of their suggestion, in addition to saving time in letter deliveries, had saved the Depa:r_tment about £10,000 per annum.

809. Your Commissioners cannot support, on the evidence, the con­ tention of the Permanent Head, that the Associations were endeavouring to control the Department through politicians. The statement made by a leading official, that Associations had circularized Members of Parliament requesting the appointment of a Royal Commission, was denied by the repre­ sentatives of the Associations.

810. Your Commissioners do not agree with the statement that disci­ pline is undermined by the are of the opinion that, while

Associations confine their representations to class grievances, as is claimed to be their present intent, the reverse must occur, and, consequently, in that respect they must be of assistance to the administration.

811. It was noticed that a great number of Associations have been established which were non-existent prior to Federation. The representatives of the Associations allege that this fact demonstrates the existence of dissatisfaction in the Service, which did not previously exist.

812. Associations which are not aggressive, and which work for the advancement of their members without overlooking the public interest, must make for a contented Service, and consequently a more efficient service to the public.

813. Your Commissioners recommend that Association secretaries not official positions within the have the same right

of audience and equal departmental recogmtwn as IS granted to such secretaries who are Service officials.



814. Evidence was tendered by representatives of Associations that suggestions made by officials, with the view of effecting r eforms and improve­ ments in the Service, had seldom met with material reward from the Depart­ ment. Others alleged that in some instances they had not received even an

acknowledgment of their efforts, and that generally little, if any, incentive was held out by the Department in the way of encouraging such suggestions.

815. Instances were given of alleged important suggestions having been made by subordinate officers. In one State an official suggested a method of checking insufficient postage, which resulted, according to the Deputy Postmaster-General of that State, in securing extra revenue to the Department of £200 per annum.

816. In another State an- official claimed that, by suggesting a change of method in destroying old and useless papers, a saving of £300 ·per annum has resulted. Another witness stated that, in response to a general depart­ mental notification, he made suggestions about five years ago for improved

methods of sorting, but did not receive an acknowledgment until eighteen months later, when he was informed that his idea was impracticable. He claimed that since then the Department had gradually adopted his suggestion, which, it is said, has resulted in saving the work of t en or twenty men, equi­

valent to about £60 a week. This witness complained that the Department had given him neither credit nor compensation for his suggestion.

817. Some leading officials of the Department admitted that suggestions had originated from officials which had saved work and expense to the Depart­ ment. These officers varied in their opinion as to the nature or extent of the reward that should be given officials for making useful suggestions. · Some

Suggestions not acknowledged.

Suggestion reS'Il.lts in saving £200 a. year.

Alleged saving of £60 per week.


did not approve of monetary rewards, and alleged that suggestions are Monetary rewards. encouraged, and, if considered of value to the Department, are submitted to the Central Executive for favorable consideration and action.

818. Other witnesses considered that officers making valuable sug­ gestions should be rewarded by promotion. . The practice of the Department is to invite suggestions from officials, and, in the event of these suggestions proving useful, the officer making the suggestion may receive a reward not

exceeding £5. For the purpose of collecting suggestions, a suggestion box is provided at each principal office. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that there is no well-defined scheme for encouraging suggestions, but that there should be. ·

819. Your Commissioners recommend that every encouragement should be given to officials to make suggestions for improving the working of the services. Thev consider it should be the duty of the Staff Committee in each State to consider these suggestions. The official answerable for the sugges­ tion should receive monetary compensation commensurate with the value

of the suggestion made.

PUblic Suggestions.

Nature of reward for valuable suggestions.


820. Your Commissioners further recommend that notices be pro- Recommendation. minently placed in all official post-offices, inviting the public to offer sug-gestions for the improvement of the services, and that a book be provided at each office to enable those desirous of making suggestions to record them.


8 21. The Regulations under the Commonwealth Public Service A ct provide that, where it is possible to do so, equivalent time off should be granted in lieu of overtime payment in cases where overtime is worked.


What ttegulations provide. These Regulations also provide that, when the attendance and service o£ officers are required on a public holiday, every such officer shall be granted

a holiday in lieu thereof, with the proviso that, when an officer is required to work for only half a day or less, half a holiday may be allowed in lieu thereof.

Public Service holidays.

Time in lieu for overtime unsatisfactory.


Time in lieu of holidays.

Public holidays not uniform.

Time in lieu cannot be overtaken.

A claim not tenable.


What Public Service Regula,. tions provide.

822. The Commonwealth Public Service Act provides that the following days shall be observed as public holidays :-lst January, Christmas Day and following day, Good Friday and following Saturday and Monday, King's Birthday, and also days proclaimed as holidays in any State by the States Governments. ·

823. The evidence discloses that the granting 'of time in lieu for time work has proved unsatisfactory. It has led to accumulations of time due, and the Department has found it inconvenient, if not impossible, to grant the accrued leave.

824. Your Commissioners recommend the abolition of leave in lieu of overtime, and that overtime be paid for.

825. The matter of time in lieu of holidays worked is an entirely different proposition. The work of the Department is of such a nature that it necessitates the attendance of many of its officers on public holidays for the whole, or a portion, of the day. This is more especially the case in regard to the Mail, Telegraph, and Telephone Branches, and country and suburban post-offices. The number of public holidays per annum is not uniform through· out the Commonwealth. For jnstance, in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, there are nineteen annual public holidays on which the post-office is kept open, and this causes great inconvenience to the Department in arranging for time in lieu. In Victoria there are thirteen public holidays during the year, and in Queensland twelve. . ,

826. Your Commissioners received evidence that a large number of days in lieu of holidays were due to the sta:ffs in the several States. The following instances may be quoted :-Telephone attendants, Sydney

Mail Branch, Melbourne

. ·,

It was stated that this time could not be overtaken staff.

S,OOO days

2,000 "

to shortage of

82 7. In regard to country and suburban offices 1 days in lieu of holidays are allowed to be added to officers, annual leave, but this concession is limited to six days. ·

828. A claim was made by several witnesses that . all days in lieu of holidays should be added to officers' annual leave. Responsible officers asserted that such a system would disorganize the work of the Department, and that it would be better to allow days off when business is slack.

8 2 9. In view of the fact that officers are not generally re·quired to attend: for the whole of a holiday, your Commissioners consider· that an addition of six days in lieu of holidays worked to the annual leave of country officers is sufficiently liberal treatment. In regard to other officers, your Commissioners cannot recommend the request by some witnesses that holiday work should be paid for as overtime, but consider that a six days' addition to their annual leave would be sufficient recomp·ense for holiday work. The arrears of days in lieu now due should be granted to the officers concerned

on the basis formerly in operation.


830. A considerable amount of Sunday work is unavoidable in connexion with the Department, as provision has to be made for telephonic, and mail business on that day. The Commonwealth Pub-he SerVICe Regu.Iationg provide that when all officer works on Sunday, in addition to the other six


days of the week, he shall be allowe

proportionate part thereof for less than a full day. Officers resident in departmental premises who work intermittently, or for brief periods, on Sundays, -are .not entitled to additional pay on account thereof.

831. Complaints were made that in some cases officors work as many as twelve hours a day, and receive payment only for a day's work on the basis of seven and a half hours. Your Commissioners consider that offieers working over eight hours oil Sunday should receive proportionate extra


832. A claim was advanced that Christmas Day and Good Friday should be treated as Sundays. Your Commissioners recommend the recog­ nition of this claim. With this exception, your Commissioners consider that the Regulations on this subject are sufficiently liberal, but desire to add that

this class of work should b.e avoided as much as possible.

833. It was alleged that the work involved in conveying mails to the Sydney General Post Office on Sundays could bedonejust as well on Monday morning, as the mails are left in the cellars until then; and also that Mel­ bourne sorters are brought on duty at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday nights to sort

newspapers arriving by the English mail, although such newspapers are not taken out by the letter carriers until the second delivery on Monday morning. These appear to be cases in which the principle of the restriction of Sunday work could be observed without inconvenience to the public or the Depart­



884. Regulation 61, under the Commonwealth Public Service Act, deals with overtime of officers who are required to atte:Q.d on week days from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., and provides that only work which, from its character or from special circumstances, cannot be performed during the prescribed office hours shall be regarded as overtime work for which extra payment may be made. This Regulation further provides that no payment for overtime shall

be made to officers employed in "bringing up arrears of work, which properly comes within the scope of their ordinary duties, and that no overtime shall be paid for until after 5.30 p.m., and unless the services of the officer are required after 7 p.m.

885. Regulation 62 makes the following provisions in respect of over­ time of professional and clerical officers in the Postmaster-General's Depart­ ment :-Working overtime shall be discouraged so far as is practicable, but when extra attendance is necessary the Chief Officer should make arrangements

to give equivalent time off, or he may authorize payment on the following basis ; two weeks' consecutive attendance is to be reckoned, and every hour in excess of 88 hours may be paid as overtime. This Regulation refers par­ ticularly to the principal telegraph offices where there are shifts of staff.

836. Rates of pay for overtime are prescribed in Regulations 63 and 64, as under:-

Professional and Clerical Division. 8. d.

Salary £100 and under .. 1 0 per hour

Salary over £100, and up to £150 1 6

" Salary over £150, and up to £200 1 9 " Salary over £200, and up to £300 2 0 " Salary over £300 2 6 " F.8564. K

Alleged unfair treatment.

Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Regulations generally sufli.ciently liberal.

Alleged unneces­ sary Sunday work.

Regulation governing overtime.

Regulation governing overtime of Professional and Clerical



Complaints. of officel'!!.

Excessive overtime;


General Division.

s. d.

Salary £I 00 and under ..

. ,

' ·(r 9 per hour.

Salary over £100, and up to £I50 I 0


Salary over £I50, and up to £200 I 3


Salary over £200, and up to £250 1 6


Salary over £250, and up to £300 2 0


Salary over £300 2 6


83 7. Complaints were received from leading officials and representatives of Associations in every State in reference to overtime work, but more par­ ticularly in New South Wales. These complaints included excessive working of overtime, the difficulty in obtaining recompense; the insufficiency of the rates, and the basis upon which overtime is calculated.

838. The working of overtime appears to have been common throughout the Commonwealth. It was alleged that in the Central Executive's Office the staff had to work excessive overtime for a number of years without payment.

overtime in New 839. It was stated that in New South Wales excessive overtime South Wales. had been imposed on the staff since 1905. The following table shows particulars of overtime worked for the years 1905 to 1908 by professional and clerical officers in the General Post Office, Sydney :-

• Overtime said to be due to bad management.

Reduction of telephone rates causes overtime.

Proportinn wo:-ked worked in Time worked on between 4.30 a nd Time worked as Year. ordinary d ays i n excesa p. m , and between noon excess o/ 9 a .m. to 5.30 overtime on Sundays of Regulation hou rs. and 1 p.m . on p .m ., and 9 t o 1 p .m. and holidays. Saturdays. Saturday. --1905 . . . . 20,617 9,143 5,796 .. 1906 . . . . 34,707 13,177 8,468 .. 1907 . . . . 80,522 24,930 28,186 .. 1908 . . .. 56,173 24,576 16,952 . . 192,019 71,826 59,402 8,456 Details are shown in Appendix VI .. to this. Report. 840. The Permanent Head stated that the overtime worked in Sydney in 1905-6-7 was not all necessary, and considered that it was due to the local management. A leading official: formerly attached to the Central Executive, stated that the bulk of the overtime worked in Sydney was due to want of supervision and management, plus malingering. 841. These statements were denied by officials in the New South Wales office, who stated that overtime was unavoidable, and the main reason assigned for the working of overtime was shortage of staff. 8 4 2. It was stated by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales that a large amount of overwork was caused in the Electrical Engineer's, Accounts, Correspondence, and Record Branches by the reduction of the telephone rates.




843. Complaints were also received that clerical assistants, General Division officers, and country officers all worked overtime, some of the latter working 10 to 12 hours a day.

844. During 1905-8, country letter carriers in New South "\Vales worked overtime as under-1905 1906

1907 "!908

Total.. ·.

58 officers 60 "

56 "

53 "

10,444 hours 12,187 " 9,967 " 7,661 "


845. Voluminous returns were furnished, showing overtime worked at country and suburban offices during 1905-6-7 to June, 1908. The return is not sufficiently complete to present a full statement, but your Commissioners desire, by a few illustrations where the overtime worked exceeded 2,000 hours

per annum, to disclose the excessive overtime worked.


Office. 1905. 1906. 1907. 1908.


Ba.llina. 2,559 2,079 1,723 1,001

Coils Hatbor .. 832 2,067 2,289 1,012

Culcairn 3,343 3,343 3,343 1,671

Denman 2,236 2,236 2,236 1,213

Morpeth 2,195 2,365 4,364 1,106

Nevertire 2,058 1,441 1,474 721

Portland 2,132 2,132 2,488

Ryde 3,371 3,215 3,215 1,485

Stuart Town .. 2,013 1,906 1,834 997

Tamworth 1,588 1,914 2,453 1,150

Tingha. 1,768 2;852 2,852 1,326

Ulmarra. 2,401 2,635 2,478 1,482 2,080 2,080 ..

W allsend -Platts burg .. 2,085 2,085 2,401 1,257

Watson's Bay 2,020 I 2,020 2,254 862

There are a number of other post-offices where the overtime worked was considerable. Details are shown in Appendix VII. of this Report.

846. The Engineer for Lines, New South .Wales, stated that linemen work overtime without payment, and that 3,440 houri:! were due to such officers in the metropolitan district.

Excessive overtime.

847. The Postmaster-General in November, 1907, issued instructions overtime worked for the abolition of · overtime, and authorized the employment of temporary· notwithstandilig instructions to officers for that purpose. Witnesses alleged that, notwithstandirig ·these contrary. instructions, a number of officers were working every night in the Accounts, Electrical Engineer's, Inspection, and Record Branches; further; that the

hour · for ceasing duty . in the clerical branches had practically become 5'.30 instead of 4.30 p.m.

848. The Electrical Engineer and other Heads of Branches inSydney stated that they were compelled to work excessive hours. It was stated that the appointment of extra telegraphists had considerably reduced over­ time working in their branch, but from 7 to 40 telegraphists were kept on

"taster" (additional) duty daily. · ·

K 2

Overtime reduced in Telegraph Branch.


Clomplaints of employes.

System of working overtime bad.


849. Payment was made in November, 1908, for the overtime worked by officers in the Accounts, Correspondence, Electrical Engineer's, Inspection, Records, and Stores Branches, Sydney, from 1st January, 1906, to 30th April, 1908. The following table supplies particulars in regard to this matter:-


i _ Overtime wo rked to 30th ApriJ, : Time allowed and amount 0 15 l9CS, and amount claimed. ,, paid. o

dlellilowed ae not according to Regulations, and equivalent if paid lor.

,;::ot;f :6o 'g


£ 8 • d.

. . 22 4,528 6 417 12 4: 1, 722 45/ 135 3 2/ 2,805 21 282 9 2

Elec. Engmeer's 50 13,775 5 1,021 9 lO 10,985 Oj 724 1 0/ 2,790 5 297 8 10

Inspection 10 2,028 0 191 18 f 1,259 0/ 101 6 9/ 769 0 90 11 4

Records 17 1,720 36


· 132 3 8' 874 11


53 9 10 846 25 78 13 10

Stores 6 762 29 53 14 3/ 616 45 40 13 81 145 44 13 0 7

Totals 191 2,677 6 4128,759 121 1,915 2 717,356 35 762 3 9



Branoh 1905 . 190f. 1907. 1908 . Total.

Accounts .. Correspondence Electrical Enginee Inspection Records ..


Totals 1

. .

. .


. .

. .

. .

. .


.. 2,121

.. 1,428

.. 500

.. 106

.. 571

.. 33

.. 4,762

---- HN. Min. 10 4,259 . 51 41 2,205 36 22 1,028 26 0 890 0 56 457 35 55 164 0 4 9,005 28 Hr$. Min. Hrs . MLn. Hrs. Min.

11,650 3 3,332 27 21,363 31

2,677 18 1,308 10 7,619 45

8,333 45 5,398 37 15,261 10

1,316 0 1,927 0 4,239 0

1,274 59 3,178 40 5,483 10

590 0 286 45 1,074 40

-----25,842 5 15,431 39 55,041 16 .

850. Complaints were submitted that payment had not been made for overtime worked since 30th April, 1908, although a considerable amount was due; and also that overtjme was worked prior to 1906 without r ecompense. . . 851. Some officials alleged that the overtime work had imposed a great strain on the sta:ff, and had caused breakdowns in health to such an extent that in some instances officers were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to retire.

_ 852. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector for New South Wales said that the system of working overtime was bad, and that the Regulations .governing overtime were designedly framed to make it difficult for officers to receive overtime, and to compel the to apply for

additional sta:ff when the work justified it. This witness stated that there was great difficulty in securing conscientious administration of overtime Regulations. He was of opinion that QVertime can become a habit, and office time is sometimes not properly used, thus necessitating overtime.

Statements rega.rd- 853. The Oommonwealth Public Service Commissioner expressed the ing overtime mueh opinion that the overtime worked in Sydney was not abnormal. He con· exagger-ated. sidered that the statements made in regard thereto have been much exaggerated, and that the claims made for in Sydney indicated a grasping spirit.

This witness explained that an hour margin before granting overtime payment was necessary to prevent malingering, and he regarded payment of overtime as an inducement to the slow worker.

26,000 hours over· time due in Mail Branch, Melbourne.

854. In Victoria, the Deputy Postmaster-General gave evidence that there had been considerable overtime worked in the General Post Office, Melbourne, and that 26,000 hours overtime were due in the Mail Branch up to 30th September, 1908. This witness further stated that extra stafl had · been provided, and ?Vertime work practically abolished.


, 855. It was stated by the Electrical Engineer that ov:-er ll,O?O hours overtime were due in his branch ; that the office staff, himself mcluded, habitually worked late, and there was no possibility of granting them time in lieu. ·

856. In Queensland, evidence was received that some of the office staff in the Electrical Engineer's Branch have worked considerable overtime. The representative of the Commonwealth Public Service Association of Queens­ land declared that, although officially abolished, overtime was still worked

in the General Post Office, · Brisbane. This witness stated that during the preceding two or three years a large number of officers worked from 10 to 13 hours daily for lengthy periods without recompense. The representative of the Post and Telegraph Association stated that postmasters at country

offices worked excessive hours. Further, it was stated that linemen work overtime without payment.


Victorian evidence.

Queensla,ncl evidence.

8 57. Complaint was made in South Australia that when overtime was south .Australian booked, officers experienced great difficulty in obtaining time in lieu. evidence.

858. In Western Australia, the State Electrical Engineer gave evidence that he personally has to work considerable overtime owing to want of staff. The representative of the Post and Telegraph Association stated that there were many complaints of clerical officers being liable to work 1?-ntil 5.30 p.m.

without recompense. A complaint was also received that at Kalgoorlie clerical officers have to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 1 p.m. on Saturdays, while the hours of such officers at Perth are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and noon on SatUrdays .


859. In Tasmania,. the Electrical Engineer stated that he was compelled to work considerable overtime. The representative of the Post and Telegraph Association complained that in arriving at the amount of overtime work in the Telegraph Branch the Department adds the " long " and " short " days

together, and averages the result. This witness stated that, notwithstanding the Postmaster-General's instructions of November, 1907, the officers in the Acc.ounts and Electrical Engineer's Branches worked 950 hours overtime . during the twelve months.

Western Austra.lia.n evidence.

Tasmanian evidence.

860. Witnesses requested that overtime working should be abolished Requestfor the as far as practicable by the provision of a sufficient staff, and, in cases where of . . 'd bl h ld b d S l . 'd d over lme . 1t 1s unav01 a e, payment s ou e rna e. evera Witnesses cons1 ere that a fair allowance should be provided for emergencies, while others contended

that full payment should be made for all overtime work. Some Association representatives claimed that overtime payment should be at the rate of time and a half.

861. Your Commissioners consider that, in many instances, there has been excessive overtime work imposed on the officers. They are also of the opinion that the practice of working overtime is unjust to the and opposed to departmental interests, as it tends to produce depreciated service.

862. The cause of overtime is sh<;>rtage of staff. The great reduction in telephone :rates in 1907, without making proper provision for staff, acutely affected the position. Your Commissioners recommend th;:tt an adequ.ate staff be provided, and that overtime be abolished except in special

instances, which cannot be met by an increase in the permanent staff. In such instances the extra should be met, as far as practicable, by the employment of temporary assistance, but; when the attendance of subordinate officers beyond the prescribed hours of duty is absolutely imperative, all such

overtime (when sanctioned by the Deputy Postmaster-General) should t?e paid for at the of time and a half,

Excessive overtime.




Recommendathn. 863. Your Commissioners recommend that payment be made for the . overtime now due.

Regulation governing tea-money.

Complaints regarding the regulation.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's statement.



864. Commonwealth Public Service Regulation · 65 provides that tea money shall in no case be allowed unless an officer is directed in writing, by the Chief . Officer or other responsible officer, to attend after ordinary hours, and works for at least two hours after the usual office hours. Tea money is hot allowed when overtime payment is · given. The rates prescribed for tea money are :-Officers receiving £500 and over, 2s. 6d.; £200 and under £500, 2s.; under £200, Is. 6d.

86 5. In connexion with this Regulation, complaints were made by association representatives to the effect that an officer is required to work until9 or 10 p.m., and to certify t.hat he had to purchase a meal before receiving tea money. It was alleged that up to February, 1906, it was paid if an officer worked until 6.30 p.m. It was complained that the rates are unfair to the· lower-paid officers, and that payments are often delayed, and that the require­ ments as to the time worked and the purchase of ·a meal are ultra vires the Regulation. ' .

866. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that tea money is not overtime, and is intended to recoup out of pocket expenses, and that officers are required to work up to 7 p.m., and return at night before being paid such tea money. This witness expressed the opinion that, if tea money were paid for work before 7 p.m., officers would malinger to obtain it.

86 7. Your Commissioners recommend the abolition of tea money, and that extra service, when necessary, be paid for as overtime in accordance with the recommendation contained in the previous section of this Report.


;Olass distinctions. 868. Complaints were received from the representatives of certajn Associations that the intervals allowed for meals were not sufficiently lengthy, and that a uniform period should be established. It was stated that General Division officers were allotted 30 minutes for meal time, while Clerical Division officers were granted 45 minutes.

Complaint ·of insu11lcient meal time.

Interval of 45 mfuutes recommended.

Provisions of Act.

869. 'I'he representative of the Sorters' Association in New South Wales. complained that the sorters were allowed only fifteen minutes for their evening meal, and theY. requested that 30 minutes be granted. . The Commonwealth PP blic Service Inspector of New South \Vales stated that the complaint of the sorters did not refer to their regular evening meal time, and he considered there was no reason why it should count as time worked. He also

considered that the luncheon interval of 30 minutes is sufficient for men who· work in the open, but he had no objection to its extension if the working. hours were not reduced. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that the difference in the nature of the work of Clerical and General Division officers constituted the reason for the difference in time allowed for meal hours.

8 7 0. Your Commissioners recommend that the time allowed for meals should be uniform throughout the Service, and of 45 minutes duration. Where the breakis of a ;rest nature only, as in the case of the sorters, fifteen minutes should be allowed, and included in the working time.


8 71. Section 46 of the Commonwealth PUblic Service Act provides that officers guilty of breaches of the provisions of the Act or Regulations, or gliilty of wilful disobedience or disregard of lawful orders, of being negligent or


careless in .the discharge of their duties, of being inefficient or incompetent from causes within their own control, of using intoxicating beverages to excess, or of any disgraceful or improper conduct, shall be g11ilty of offences, and liable to punishment. .

8 7 2; The above section of the Act further provides that, while officers charged with minor o:ffen9es against discipline may be reprimanded or cautioned by the Chief Officer, any officer charged with any ofience may be temporarily suspended by the Chief Officer, in which case the officer charged

must be furnished with a copy of the charge on which he is suspended, and required to state in writing whether he admits or denies the charge, and to give any written explanation he may desire to offer. If, after considering such explanation, the Chief Officer is of the opinion that the alleged offence

has been committed by the officer, but is not serious enough for reference to a Board of Inquiry, the Chief Officer may reprimand or caution the officer and remo-ve the suspension, or fine the officer any sum not exceeding £10. lf the Chief Officer considers the alleged offence to be sufficiently serious to justify an investigation by a Board of Inquiry, he may further suspend the

officer charged, · and refer the charge to a Board of Inquiry for investigation and report, and if the suspended officer does ·not, in writing, admit the truth of the charge, the Board shall inquire into it, and report to the Chief Officer the proceedings and evidence taken, and its opinion thereon. If the charge is admitted, or found by the Board of Inquiry to be proved, the Permanent

Head may, on the recommendation of the Chief Officer, impose a penalty on the offender, or deprive him of leave of absence; or the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner may reduce the offender to a lower class, or grade, or salary; or the Governor-General may dismiss the offender, or require him

to resign. If the charge be found by the Board of Inquiry to be not proven, the suspension must be immediately removed by the Chief Officer.

873. In addition to the above-stated provisions, Regulation 40 of the Regulations under the Commonwealth Public Service Act provides as follows:-

Performance of Duties.

(1) Every officer shall promptly and correctly carry out all duties. appertaining to his office, and shall in due course and at proper times comply with and give effect to all enactments, Regulations, and authoritative instructions made or issued for his guidance in the performance of his duties.

(2) If any officer is charged with any breach of this Regulation, and the Chief Officer is of opinion that the charge is not of sufficient gravity to warrant the suspension of the officer so charged, the Chief Officer may furnish the officer charged with a copy of the

charge, and require him to state whether he admits or denies the charge, and whether he consents to the charge being dealt with by th.e Chief Offiqer under this Regulation.

(3) If the officer consents to the charge being dealt with under this Regulation, the Chief Officer may deal with it, and may, if he finds the charge to be proved, fine the officer charged any sum not exceeding Twenty shillings. ·

(4) If the officer does not consent to the charge being dealt with by the Chief Officer under this Regulation, the officer shall be forthwith suspended and dealt with under Section 46 of the Act.

(5) Any pecuniary penalty imposed on an officer suspended and dealt with under Section 46 of the Act for a breach of this regulation shall not exceed Fifty pounds, provided that the Chief Officer shall not fine any officer so found guilty any sum exceeding

Ten pounds.

omcers charged.

Powers of Chief omcer.

Powers of Permanent Head.


omcers' complaints regarding punitive provisions.

Cumbersome system.

Discipline not strict enough.

Complaints and suggestions of Associations.


Regulations 257-61 provide that if any officer is charged with any of the offences mentioned in section 46 (see paragraph 871), the action to be taken shall be as follows :-All charges shall be rriade in writing, and shall, except where laid by

the Chief Officer himself, be addressed to such Chief Officer. The Chief Officer may temporarily suspend any officer so charged. In anv office or branch not under the immediate control of the Chief " Officer, the principal officer may, in emergent cases, temporarily

suspend any officer so charged, but shall immediately report such suspension and its cause to the Chief Officer. Provided, how­ ever, that in the case of minor offences against discipline proved against any officer, such principal officer may caution or repri­ mand the offending officer, and at once report having done so to the Chief Officer, furnishing, at the same time, full particulars of the case. An officer suspended for an alleged offence shall-

(a) be immediately furnished with a copy of the charge. (b) be required to forthwith state in writing whether he admits or denies the truth of such charge. (c) be allowed to give any written explanation with regard to the

alleged offence.

8 7 4. The complaints made by officers regarding punitive provisions were numerous throughout the Commonwealth. Administrative and other leading officials stated that the system of dealing with charges against officers is unwieldy, and removes power· of staff control from all officers except the Chief Officer. They suggested that in the interests of discipline, heads of

branches should be empowered to fine officers under their control, the officers to have the right of appeal to the Chief Officer, which was the practice in some States prior to Federation; that a schedule of fin es should be framed for minor offences; that the Chief Officer should have power to impose fines not exceeding One pound without the present condition that the officers charged must consent to be dealt with by him or be suspended.

8 7 5. Some witnesses were of the opinion that the 8hief Officer should be . empowered to fine officers up to Ten pounds without suspension. It was stated by several leading officials that, owing to the cumbersome system in operation for administering the punitive provisions, there is a danger of minor offences

being overlooked to the detriment of discipline.

8 7 6. Evidence was received from leading officials to the effect that discipline in the Departmentis not as strict as it should be. Some witnesses alleged that there was better discipline when the Department was under State control, because there was then more power of summary jurisdiction, and lessiagitation.

8 7 7. Complaints and suggestions to the following effect were submitted by representatives of the Associations:-(1) That under Regulation· 40 an officer charged is always guilty. Officers plead guilty to avoid the odium of suspension for trivial

offences. ·

(2) That the treatment meted out to officers for errors is too severe, resulting in discontent and irritation to the Service. Numerous instances were quoted by these witnesses of alleged unfair treatment of officers in regard to punishment.

(3} That too much power of fining officers is provided, associated with an absence of uniformity in penalties. ·

(4) That Regulation 40 is superfluous (if not Ultra vires the Act), and should be abolished, and that it is excessively used and for of a trivial nature,


878. Your Commissioners consider that the present method of dealing with offences is most cumbersome, which is amply proved by a perusal of the provisions governing the matter.

8 7 SA. Apparently the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner has fully realized this, as amended Regulations 257-261 were issued in September, 1909, which remove the necessity of suspending accused officers until after they have had an opportunity to lodge a written explanation. Your Com-

consider that the amended Regulations are a considerable improve-

ment on the former Regulations on this matter.

Recent action taken.


879. The Commonwealth Public . Service Commissioner stated that Needless reference. Regulation 40 was framed with the object of reducing suspensions, but that many cases are needlessly referred to Boards of Inquiry instead of the Chief Officer taking the responsibility of summary action. This witness agreed

with the suggestion that, in the interests of discipline, heads of branches should have power to :fine officers up to Five shillings for minor offences. -880. From the evidence submitted your Commissioner£ are satisfied that there is justification for the discontent and dissatisfaction existing amongst . the employes through the administration of the punitive provisions of the

Commonwealth Public Service Act and Regulations.

881. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the imposition of fines has a detrimental effect on discipline, and has a discouraging tendency upon the officials.

882. Your Commissioners recommend the abolition of departmental fines, and suggest in lieu thereof that minor offences committed by officers be recorded against them, and that such records be reviewed when increments and promotions are being decided. Advancement should be withheld in cases

where, in the opinion of the Staff Committee, officers' conduct is not sufficiently satisfactory. The Board of Management should be empowered to reduce the status of officers whose conduct is continuously unsatisfactory.

883. For serious breaches of duty, other than_ criminal offences, the officers concerned should be given an opportunity to explain their cases in writing, or personally, before the Staff Committee. The offence, if proved, should render them liable to'reduction in status or dismissal at the-discretion

of the Board of Management. Officers guilty of theft, embezzlement, or other criminal offences should be prosecuted in accordance with present practice.


884. The Commonwealth Public Service Act, section 46, sub-section (4), provides that Boards of Inquiry into charges against officers shall be con­ stituted of three persons: one of whom shall be the Chairman of such Board, and one of whom shall be the representative of the Division to which the

officer belongs, elected under the Regulations by the officers -of that Division in the State in which the suspended officer performed his duties, and any two of whom may exercise all powers of such Board. The Board .shall not include the person by whom the officer was suspended, or by whom the charge was


885. Commonwealth Public Service Regulation 264 provides that­ The Board of Inquiry shall consist of-(a) An officer of the Department in which the accused officer is employed.

(b) An 'officer of any other Commonwealth Department. (c) The representative of the Division to which the officer belongs. ·

Justification for dissatisfaction.

Abolition of fines recommended.

Dealing with serious charges.

Commonwealth Public Service Act provision.

Complaints by Associations.


When :Boards of Inquiry should act.


Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's and Inspector's opinions.

Objections to Regulation 267a.



Provided that, instead of the officers specified in paragraphs (a) and (b), or either of them, the Chief Officer, with the approval of the Public Service Inspector, may appoint any person or persons he may deem desirable, whether connected with the Commonwealth Public Service or not. Any two members of a Board of Inquiry may exercise all the powers of such Board.

886. Complaints were made by representatives of Associations as to the constitution of these Boards, and requests were tendered that the Chairman should be a Judge or a Magistrate, and that the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner should be represented, preferably by the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector, but not by an officer in the same Department as the officer charged.

88 7. It was alleged that the present system of appointing officers in the same Department as the accused officer to sit on the Board is a pernicious one. One Association representative suggested that the Board of Inquiry should openly announce its verdict at the close of an inquiry. This witness also stated that in one instance it cost the Department £155 to fine an officer £3. and that in some cases it took five to six months to deal with inquiries.

888. Leading officials of the Department_ were unanimous in the opinion that the present procedure of Boards of Inquiry is cvmbersome, expensive, and ineffective. It was stated that Boards of Inquiry should only be used in extreme cases where dismissal or enforced retirement would likely be the result if the charges were sustained, and that when officers are charged with criminal offences the result of the trial should be awaited, instead of proceeding with a Board of Inquiry.

8 8 9. It was alleged that the divisional representative practically acts as counsel for the officer charged ; that the other departmental officers on the Board may subsequently be in a similar position to the defendant, and that Boards of Inquiry are a means of protection to troublesome officers.

8 9 0. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that Boards of Inquiry act merely as juries, and are satisfactory, and fair to officers. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales corroborated the statement that the present system is cumbersome and should be simplified.

891. Objections were raised to Commonwealth Public Service Regu­ lation 267 A, providing for inquiries by proxy in remote districts, and requests were made that on every inquiry a divisional representative should be present. One Association representative suggested that each State should be divided into four or five districts, and a divisional representative appointed for each.

892. Your Commissioners recommend that, while the departmental staff is under the Commonwealth Public Service Act, the constitution of Boards of Inquiry remain as at present, and that to overcome the expensiveness of dealing with cases in remote districts, divisional representatives be appointed in each Postal Inspector's district. ··

893. Your Commissioners recommend that the Board, whenever possible, should announce its finding before rising. Further, that Boards of Inquiry be requisitioned in connexion with serious charges only; and that in crjminal prosecution the Board should await the decision of the Court.

894. Should the scheme of management recommended be adopted, inquiries into charges against officers would lie within the jurisdiction of the Stafi Committee. ·



895. Section 50 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act provides for appeals by officers affected by reports, recommendations, or actions taken under the Act. In the case of reports or recommendations made by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner to the Governor-General appeals

must be made before the reports. or recommendations are dealt with by the Governor-General. ·

896. This right of appeal was freely exercised by officials of the Depart­ ment against the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's Classification of 1904, and a considerable number of the appeals then made were allowed. In this connexion, the following figures were quoted :-New South Wales,

506 appeals, 167 granted; Victoria, 1,068 and 107; Queensland, 93 and 14; South Australia, 224 and 69 ; Western Australia, 266 and 72 ; Tasmania, 60 arid 14 respectively.

897. Complaints were made that, owing to a legal interpretation of the word " affected " in the above-mentioned section of the Act as meaning "prejudicially affected in salary," the right of · appeal has been unjustly restricted, and rendered practically inoperative, as it applies only to cases

where an officer has suffered stoppage of a statutory increment, and not to cases where junior officers are promoted over their seniors.

898. Representativ:es of Associations requested that the right of appeal should be made operative in all cases where officers consider they have suffered an injustice, and that, in instances where the promotion of a junior over a senior officer is contemplated, notice of such intention should be given so that

appeals could be submitted. At present, even if appeals were allowed in such cases, officers have no means of obtaining information to enable them to lodge appP.als before recommendations are dealt with by the Governor- General. ·

Proportion of a.p.peals made and allowed.

Restriction ot right of appe&l.

Extension of right of appeal desired.


8 9 9. The representative of one Association stated . that the officers desired to be brought under the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act, which would obviate the expense of an Appeal Board. ·

Desire to come under Conclliation and Arbitration Act.

900. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner gave evidence Extension of right to the effect that to extend the right of appeal, as requested by the officers, . would make the administration of the Commonwealth PUblic Service Act unworkable. impracticable, and that if notice of intention to promote junior over senior

officers were given, in order to allow appeals to be lodged, the Service would become unworkable. ·

. 901. Your Commissioners consider that the right of appeal should be Recommendation. preserved to Under: the proposed scheme of management, recom-mendations for promotions, increments, and transfers would be under the Staff Committee of the. States. When officers consider they are unjustly treated,

appeals should be allowed, with the proviso set out. in the following section of this Report in regard to 'frivolous appeals, and with the further proviso that loss of seniority (promotion being based on merit alone) shall not in tself constitute a right of appeal. . ",


902. The Commonwealth Public Service Act, Section 50, provides for Appeal Boards for State, consisting of the Commonwealth Boards of Appeal.

Service Inspector, the Chief Officer of the J?epartment, or an officer nommated by such Chief Officer State to t.he appellant belongs, agd the

represeri:tative of the DivisiOn of the Service m whiCh the appellant_io:fficer is employed.

Appeal Board alleged to be biased.

Independent chairman desired.

Present constitu­ tion of Appeat. Board fair.

Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner's objections and desired alterations.


. 903. It is provided that this Board shall hear appeals, and transmit the evidence taken, together with a recommendation thereon, to the Common­ wealth Public Service Commissioner, who thereupon shall determine such appeal.

904. Representatives of Associations were practically unanimous in condemnation of the Appeal Board as . now constituted.· They that it was a biased tribunal, cumbersome in its methods, and unsatisfactory, and alleged that the present system allowed an official whose decision was appealed against to act as Chairman of a Board dealing with his own recom­ mendations. It was contended that the chairman should be an individual outside the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, in order to make the Appeal Board more impartial.

905. The general request was that the Appeal Board should be consti­ tuted of an independent chairman (a Stipendiary Magistrate), a representative of the Department, and the Divisional representative; the Board's decision to be final. Some witnesses contended that one Board should be established for the whole Commonwealth.

906. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner and his officers considered that the present constitution of the Appeal Board is fair, and that to appoint an outside chairman unacquainted with Service conditions would be a mistake. They stated that in no case had partiality been shown.

907. The specific objections of the Commonwealth Public Service Com­ missioner to the desired alteration of the constitution of Appeals Boards are as follow :-The Commonwealth would have no control over a Judge or Stipendiary

Magistrate who is a State official, and the substitution of such an officer for the Public Service Inspector would leave the Common­ wealth practically unrepresented.

A Judge or Magistrate cannot possess the knowledge and experience of public administration or of the general principles underlying · the classification of officers necessary to enable him to adjudicate on the many involved Public Service questions remitted to Boa;rds



A State officer presiding over Boards of Appeal would necessarily be largely guided by ex parte evidence, and his decisions would consequently create and cause injustice to officers

who were not appellants. · Decisions of Boards of Appeal, unlike those of courts oflaw, cannot be based wholly on the evidence submitted, but must take into account surrounding circumstances, which can only be fully

within the knowledge of the Commissioner and Public Service Inspectors. Boards of Appeal are not legal Alteration of the constitution of Boards of Appeal would tend to multiply the number of frivolous and vexatious appeals, and

result in increased expenditure, more especially as no provision exists for mulcting appellants in the costs of appeal.

State duties would have a prior claim upon the time and attention of Judges or Stipendiary Magistrates, thus causing delays in hearing appeal cases, and consequent injustice to meritorious officers, whose promotions would be withheld pending deter­ mination of appeals against them. In addition, the administration of Departments would be hampered by the delays in settlement of appeals.


The . Chairman of Boards of Appeal would be constantly changing, even in the same State, and different assessments of the value of similar work and different decisions on cognate cases would thus be promulgated. Anomalies would thereby increase, until

eventually the Service would become more chaotic than before classification.

908. Your Commissioners recommend that a Departmental arbitrator Recommendation. be appointed to adjudicate on all matters of appeal, the Departmental and officers' representatives to appear as witnesses. Provision to be made that in case of the appellant submitting an appeal deemed to be frivolous by the

official arbitrator, the appellant shall be liable for the payment of costs .


909. It was found that the arrangements for relieving officers Relieving staffs on leave were very unsatisfactory. In every State the relieving staffs inadequate. were inadequate, and the usual method was, apparently, to employ temporary hands for relieving purposes. Evidence was given that in some

States leave of absence had fallen into arrears owing to want of a relieving staff.

910. A request was made by some ·witnesses for a full relieVing staff, Recommendation. embracing all Divisions and Subdivisions of the Service. Your Commis-sioners do not consider this to be necessary, and recommend that officers on ordinary leave should, as far as possible, be relieved by their immediate subordinates, so that the latter may gain knowledge and experience. They

consider that this could be best accomplished by the addition of low-grade officers to the staff of the important provincial and country offices, in proportion of one officer to about · every eighteen permanent officers. At these offices provision could be made for supplying relieving officers for the surrounding Relieving 1n

postal district. Sufficient permanent relieving staff should be provided to country districts. meet ordinary requirements at the General Post Offices, and to relieve .officers at country offices where there no other provision for relieving.

911. The salaries paid ·to relieving officers are not uniform. In New South Wales the highest salary paid to a relieving officer is £210 per annum, while in Victoria some relieving officers' salaries range from £235 to £335 per annum. In Queensland, certain relieving officers are paid salaries ranging from £235 to £285. Your Commissioners recommend that a permanent R d t'

1. · taff b · t d t 1' t h · · · · f l ·. ecommen a 10n. re 1evnlg s e appt:?m. e o re Ieve postmas ers w o are m rece1pt o sa anes of £235 or upwards. · Such relieving officers to be paid adequate salaries, corresponding with the salaries of the postmasters whom they relieve.

912. Your Commissioners disapprove of the general use o£ temporary employes to relieve permanent officers, but consider that at remote offices of minor importance, where the cost of providing a member of the permanent relieving staff would be considerable, temporary employes should be made use of to relieve officers in the lower grades of the Service.


913. Commonwealth Public Service . Regulation No. 76 provides that each officer may be granted annual recreation leave to the extent of eighteen days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays.

Relieving by temporary employes.


Complaints and requests regard­ ing leave.


914. Complaints were received that in some of the States recreation leave had been deferred, while in other States requests were made that officers residing in remote districts, with a trving climate, should be allowed to accumu-late their leave for two years. •

914A. One Association representative considered that JUnior officers should receive only two weeks' annual leave.

Recommendation. 915. Your Commissioners recommend that staff arrangements be so

Complaints re sick leave.

made that ordinary annual leave may be granted in the year for which it is due. The present Regulation in regard to recreation leave in remote districts · provides sufficiently liberal· treatment, viz. :-

Extra and Accumulated Leave.

86. Officers stationed in places remote from large centres of population, or whose duties cannot ordinarily be performed within usual regular hours, and when no compensation in time or money has been given for the extra time worked, may be granted by the Chief Officer twenty-four days' leave of absence in any year, exclusive of Sundays, for recreation purposes. Provided that-(a) Should an officer in a remote district not avail himself of leave

in any year, it may be granted to him in a subsequent year in addition to the leave for that year, but the accumulated leave shall not exceed forty-eight days, exclusive of Sundays. This provision shall apply to all officers stationed in localities where, under ordinary conditions of conveyance, the time occupied on the journey from such places to the chief city of the State is in excess of three days, or where, in the opinion of the Chief Officer, the conditions are such as to warrant the granting of such leave. .

(b) In very exceptional cases special circumstances may be taken into consideration, such as excessive distance of a locality from the chief city of the State, unusually trying nature of climatic conditions, &c., and leave of absence for recrea­ tion may be allowed to accumulate for three consecutive years.

(c) The Chief Officer may, in very exceptional cases, in addition to leave as above specified, grant · such reasonable time for travelling, not exceeding two as circumstances


916. As to junior officers, your Commissioners approve of the present practice in· regard to leave.

Sick Leave.

917. Complaints were received that medical certificates are required if absence from duty account of illness exceeds one day. It was further stated that only three single days' sick leave per annum are allowed, and that sick leave in excess of three days' per annum is deducted from recreation leave. It was claimed that six days should be given. It was further com­ plained that exempt officers are given sick leave with pay, but proba­ tioners do not receive this concession until they have been employed twelve months.



918. Regulations 77, 78, 82, and 83 provide for sick leave and are as Provision ' regarding sick follow :- leave. 77. Applications for leave of absence on the ground of illness shall be supported by the certificate of a duly qualified · medical practi­ tioner.

The Chief Officer, in cases of sickness or ill-health, may, on production · of satisfactory evidence, provisionally grant extended leave, not exceeding three months, in accordance with the following schedule; but a schedule of fl.llleave granted under this Regu­

lation shall be submitted monthly for the approval of the Minister, who may in any case disallow the leave so granted:-

· Length of in State and

and Commonwealth.

Under :five years .. Over :five years and under ten Over ten years

P eriod '!or which leave may be granted, on-Full pay.





Half pay.




In exceptional cases the Minister may take any special circumstances into consideration, and may vary the scale of payments ; provided that in no case shall the leave granted exceed

three months on full pay.

78. Where in case of illness any:officer who has received leave of absence for three months is not so far recovered as to be able to resume his duties, further . extensions of leave may be provisionally granted by the Inspector in accordance with the following

schedule; provided that on ..each extension of leave the appli­ cant shall be subjected to an examination: by a medical officer approved by the Inspector. A schedule of all such leave granted by the Inspector shall be forwarded monthly to the Commis­ sioner for submission to the Governor-General, and such leave,

or any part thereof, shall be subject to disallowance by the Commissioner :-

Period for which leave may be granted, on-

LengtH of Service in State and CommonweaJth. --

Hall pay. Third pay. Without pay.

Months. Months. Months.

In exceptional cases, special cu:cum-stances may be taken into considera-

Under :five years .. 1 6 8

tion, e.g., where an officer in discharge of his duty sustains injuries of such a

Over :five years and nature as to incapacitate him for all

under ten .. 3 6 6 duty this scale may be varied ; pro-

Over ten years •:• 6 3 6 vided that in_ no case shall full pay be

allowed for a period exceeding nine months in addition to leave granted by the Minister on full pay .

. 82. Leave of absence in case of illness shall not be reckoned as nor included in leave of absence for recreation.·

83. Sick leave· allowed under Regulations 77 and 78 may be granted in one or more periods, but the aggregate amount of leave provided for in the Schedules is intended 'to cover a period of three years, dating from the :first absence on[sick leave.


The second or any subsequent triennial period will commence on the date of first absence on sick leave following the date upon which the previous triennial period expired, and for the three years thus commencing the full amount of leave provided in the Schedules according. to length of service may again be allowed. ·

Recommendation. 919. Your Commissioners consider that the regulations governing sick

Provisions for furlough.

Further provisions for furlough.

Representations regarding furlough.

Furlough sufficiently liberal.


leave are so liberal that they are unable to recommend any alteration in the way of extension.


920. The Commonwealth Public Service Act, Section 71, makes provi­ sion for furlough to the extent of six months on full pay for officers of at least twenty years' service. Provision is also made as follows under the Common­ wealth Public Service Regulations for furlough on full pay to meritorious officers with less than twenty years' service:-

Service of 16 years and under 20 years 5 months.



" "







" "







" "






less than 4


I month.

921. The Act further provides that furlough shall not be granted to officers reduced for misconduct, or punished by deprivation of leave of absence, and that during absence on furlough officers shall not be entitled to receive any addition to their rates of pay. Annual recreation leave and furlough are not in the sanie year.

922. The following complaints and representations were made in regard to furlough :-(a) That provision should be made for a further six months' furlough after an additional twenty years' service.

(b) That loss of furlough owing to punishment by reduction in status, or deprivation of leave of absence, is unjust. (c) That absence on furlough should not affect officers' right to pro­ motion. (d) That when officers die with furlough due to them a monetary

equivalent should be paid to their dependants. (e) That furlough should not interfere with annual leave.

923. Your Commissioners regard furlough not as a right, but as a privilege granted to deserving officers in addition to ordinarY: leave. They consider that the present provision for furlough is sufficiently liberal, that it would be unwise to convert furlough into a money equivalent, and that an officer granted furlough is sufficiently well treated without the addition of his annual recreation leave for the same year.

924. Your Commissioners recommend that absence on furlough be not allowed to interfere with an officer's right to an increment, or promotion, and that eligibility for furlough be not necessarily forfeited by reason of an officer's reduction in status or salary for misconduct, or by reason of depri­ vation of leave. They; consider that this practice savours of a second punish­ ment for the same offence.



925. Travellina allowance rates are determined by the Commonwealth Public Service upon a salary and Division basis, according to

Regulation 149, which reads as follows:-The following shall be the scale of travelling allowances :-



Daily Allowance Division. after one week's Hourly Rate . Allowance. residence in Frmn I To pla.ce.


------ -·- ·--- ---- - -- --- ---- -- ··- -··· ·----- --

£ £ s. d. 8. d.

Officers of the Administra- I

I tive Division .. 17 6 15 0

Officers of other Divisions .. Over 600 17 6 15 0 lj24th of daily

Clerical and 501 600 14 0

12 0 rate for each Professional J I Divisions 301 500 12 0 10 0 hour when of- l 300 and under 10 0 8 6 ficer is absent {

Over 300 12 · 0 10 0 for more than



300 10 0 8 6 one-fourth of

General Division .. 111 200 8 0 6 0 a day.

llO and under 7 0 5 0

Provided, however, that the travelling allowances payable to officers of the Clerical, Professional, and General Divisions of the Public Service stationed in Western Australia shall be at the following rates:-



Dail,Y Allowance. Hourly Rate.

_ ___ __ __ ,. _ __ ____ ____ _ From . I To --- ----- - --- --------- ---


Clerical and Professional Divisions{

£ I £

500 and upwards 301 I 500

300 and under Over 300

s. d.

15 0

12 6

10 0

12 6

10 0 )

1/ 24th of aily rate

for each hour when officer is absent for more than one·

fourth of a day. 200 ! 300 Under 200 8 0

General Division , { ·


with an additional allowance of 25' per cent. on these rates when an officer is travelling in the gold-fields districts, and a deduction of 25 per cent. when an officer is stationed for any period in excess of ten days in any one place.

926. Complaints were made by representatives of associations as to the insufficiency of travelling allowances, and the differentiation of the scale based on the salaries and the Division of the Service in which the officer is placed.

927. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner stated that the granting of travelling allowances is only to recoup officers for additional expense, and in no sense is to be considered as increased remuneration.

928. Your Commissioners consider that the present basis favours class distinctions as between Clerical and General Division officers receiving salaries under £300 per annum. This distinction should be abolished, and the regu­ lation dealing with travelling allowances of all officers receiving under £300

per annum should provide that an officer receiving under £200 a year should receive 8s.; officers in receipt of £201 to £300 should receive lOs. a day · the other rates to remain as at present. F.8564. L


Nature of travel­ ling allowances.

Class distinctions.

traveti1ng' with aliens.

Question of cost.


929. Further complaints were submitted that certain classes ot officials were allowed :fir&t-class fares by rail and steamer, while others were compelled to travel second class. The obj ection to travelling second class in the tropical parts of the Commonwealth was that officials were brought into close associa­ tion with coloured and undesirable aliens.

930. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector of New South Wales stated that the granting of equal privileges to all classes of the post and tele­ graphic service was a question of cost, and that there was no other objection.

931. With regard to the mode of travelling, Regulation 158 provides that-First-class railway fares shall be allowed to all officers receiving salary of £185 and upwards per annum; and second-class fares to officers

receiving under £185 per annum. Provided that in special cases the Chief Officer or Permanent Head may allow first- class fare to any officer.

Recommendation. 932. Your Commissioners recommend that this regulation be amended, so as to provide all officers travelling by land and by sea in tropical districts with first-class fares.

Linemen's Allowances.

complaints as to 9$3. Representatives of Linemen's Associations complained that the allowance. allowance of 2s. a day to linemen to cover expenses, as between head-quarters and camps, was not sufficient. They further complained of loss of time imposed on them through travelling, as they did not receive a travelling allowance.

Recommendation. 934. Your Commissioners recommend that linemen wmie engaged in actual travelling be allowed the minimum travelling allowance of 8s. a day, and that the camp allowance of 2s. be increased to ,3s. a day.


935. Commonwealth Public Service Regulations Nos. 168 and 169 deal with district allowances, and provide that-The following shall be the scale of allowances which may be paid to officers living in localities where the climatic conditions are severe,

or where the cost of living is exceptionally high :-

Rat io of Allowance t o Sal :> •y.

Scale. .Minimum. 1\Ja.ximum.

On £100, or On Seeond £100, or i On Portion of

I '

Portion thereof. Portion thereo f. Salary above £ 200.

--------1 ------

I. II.

III. IV. v. VI. VII.

per cent. per cent. pe1· cent. £ £

10 5 2t 5 20

15 7! 5 10 30

20 10 5 '15 35

25 12! 5 20 45

30 15 5 25 50

40 20 5 30

50 25 5 40

Officers in the State of Western Australia who do not receive a district allowance under the foregoing scale may·be paid a special allowance equal to 5 per cent. of their salary.


In localities where these allowances do not, in the opinion oi the Per­ manent Head, fairly compensate the officer for extremely severe and costly conditions of living, the rates in the foregoing scale may be increased by the·Commissioner, with the approval of the Gover­

nor-General. . . .

The Commissioner, after report from the Inspector and the Permanent Ht:ad, and with the approval of the Governor-General, may raise or lower the classification of any district or locality, and may classify any locality where· an allowance· is not now granted, or may direct

that any locality be removed from the classified list. The list of classified localities and all subsequent alterations therein will be published in the Commonwealth Gazette. ·


936. Representatives of Associations (mainly in ·western Australia) complained that the district allowances are D;Ot liberal.

They contended that the Commonwealth Pubhc ServiCe CommiSSIOner had not estimated correctly the extra cost of living in as compared with the Eastern States, and that he had also under-estimated the cost as between Perth and outlying districts of Western Australia.

District allowances said to be insumeient.

937. It was represented that the difference between the cost of living in Perth and some outlying places ranges from 47 per cent. to 170 per cent. higher, while the district allowances range only from 12 per cent. to about 42 per cent. higher.

Difference in cost of living.

938. It was alleged that in Western Australia the State Government paid district allowances according to a graduated scale at higher rates than the Commonwealth ; that banking institutions. in that State paid ·higher allowances than the Commonwealth Government ; and that the amounts so

paid were on a uniform basis. The Commonwealth Public Service Inspector oi \Vestern Australia, in rebuttal of these statements, stated that Perth was the unit from which district allowances were considered ; that the 5 per cent. to Perth officers was agreed to by the Commonwealth Public Service Com­

missioner after a personal visit ; and that the dist:ril:!t allowances are based on the State system. This witness considered that the percentage basis is fair and just; that if allowances were paid irrespective of salary, it. would be very liberal to low-salaried officers, but unfair to the average officer; that the scales

which were struck were considered fair after inquiries had been made at various places into the cost of living. This witness further stated that, prior to the Classification of 1904, most of the officers affected were located at Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, and were receiving a higher allowance under the

State, but their conditions of life became more favorable when the railway was built: that in manv instances district allowances have been raised sinee Classification, but have been reduced. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner instructed this witness to visit several centres to make

keen observations of the conditions, and to recommend necessary increases or reductions. This witness also said that if scales were reduced} 'the officers affected would be allowed to draw the higher rate while remaining in the district, and only new appointees would be paid the reduced rate ; that the

5 per cent. allowance to Perth is not inequitable ; that the metropolis should · be taken as the basis for the State ; that the State gives no allowance in the metropolitan area; that each State should stand by itself; that if an allow­ ance is made between Perth and Melbourne, it should be considered also between

all the other States; that allowances paid by banks cease when officers reach a certain salary ; that allowances made to bank managers are given to some ext ent for expenses of entertaining; that men drawing small salaries must necessarily live more economically than those with larger salaries ; that as an

officer's salary increases, so do his financial obligations and cost of living.

District allowances in Western Australia.

Public Service Inspector's rebuttal.

939. Your Commissioners do not consider that the present district Recommendation.. allowancesfor districts outside Perth are sufficiently adequate, under existing conditions, to meet the increased cost of living, when it is recognised that the L 2


Basis of allowances.


5 per cent. allowance to Perth officials is omitted in the calculation, and they recommend that the 5 per cent. Perth allowance be continued, and added to the district allowance granted.

940. Your Commissioners consider that a more equitable solution of this very difficult question would be to establish. allowances on the basis of the approximate extra actual cost entailed on the offieers, instead of the present practice of a percentage on their salaries. Under the recommendations already made in this Report, it would be the duty of the Sta.ff Committee of each State to institute inquiries into this matter to ascertain the extra cost of living where district allowances apply, and make recommendations thereon for consideration by the Board of .Management.


Rate of 941. Representatives of the Letter Carriers' Assoeiation in New South

Wales complained that the present forage allowance was not sufficient. The rate declared equitable was l6s. a week, or 2s. a day all the year round, to cover expenses. Public Service Regulation 164 provides that in cases where officers are required to provide horse and equipment, in connexion with their work, an a.llowance ranging from £24 to £36 per annum may be granted, with half-rate for additional horses. The practice is for mounted letter carriers to supply their own horses.

942. The officer in charge of the stables in Sydney stated that l2s. a week forage . allowance was insufficient under existing conditions.

Recommendations. 943. Your Commissioners recommend that the practice of mounted letter carriers owning their horses should be continued; that the forage allow­ ance should be based on the market prices for forage; and that, under present conditions, 15s. a week be allowed while the horse is being used for Depart­ mental purposes.

Losses of officials.

Practice of private institutions.

Disposal of surplus cash.


944. Representatives of Associations stated that officers in,cur losses in dealing with stamps, postal notes, money orders, and in paying salaries and other accounts. It was alleged that the clerk in charge of stamp sales at the Sydney General Post Office estimated his losses at. £20 a year, and that the losses incurred in paying salaries amounted to £15 a year.

945. It was alleged that, before Federation, allowances were made to cover such losses, and that it is the practice of banks to provide a fund to meet such contingenices.

946. It was stated that when officers have a shortage in their official cash they must make it good, but that any surplus cash is paid into revenue. Requests were made that such surplus cash should be paid into a Trust Account. It was further suggested that revenue received in the shape of conscience money should also be credited to this account.

commonwealth 947. The Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner contended that Public Service the principle of recouping losses is indefensible, and sets a premium on care-commissioner's statement. '" ''. lessness. This witness claimed that financial responsibility is considered when


classifying positions.

948. Your Commissioners cannot recommend anv alteration in the present practice, and suggest that discrimination be in appointing most careful officers to these responsible positions, and that adequate salary be paid to meet the responsibility.



949. A Commonwealth Fidelity Guarantee Fund was established by the Commonwealth Treasury on 1st July, 1903. Contributions are made by officers at the rate of 2s. 6d. per annum for every £100 of guarantee, and defalcations by officers are made good from the fund. The balance in the fund on the

30th June, 1909, was £7,448, the Post and Telegraph Department's proportion being £5,340. Owing to the solvent position of the fund, contributions have not been imposed on the officers for the financial years 1908-9 and 1909-10.

950. Your Commissioners received complaints that all officers are com­ pelled to contribute to this fund whether they have control of Government funds or not, and that officers are compelled to pay premiums for Savings Bank work for which the Department receives the allowances.

951. Requests were m,ade that, in view of the sound financial position of the fund, the premiums, when reimposed, should reduced to ls. per £100 ; that the fund should be handed over to the officers to administer, as is said to be the case in the United Kingdom.

952. Your Commissioners recommend that onlv those officers who have official monetary responsibility be compelled to contribute to the Fidelity Guarantee Fund; that the premium be reduced to ls. per £100, with a proviso that it may be increased if the reserves show signs of depletion; that when

officers have to provide guarantees for extraneous work, such as Savings Bank work, for which they receive no extra remuneration, the premiums be paid by the Department. Your Commissioners recommend that the fund be handed oYer to the officers concerned to administer, subject to the provision

of an actuarial certificate as to the solvency of the fund, whenever required.


c' · -l 953. The evidence in favour of the establishment of a supeTannuation

scheme subsidized by Parliament, -was unanimous throughout the Service, including the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, leading Postal officials, and representatives of the Associations. It was alleged that, if a superannuation fund were established in connexion with the Post and Tele­

graph Department it would make for contentment within the Service. Several superannuation schemes were submitted.

954. Your Commissioners are not prepared - to definitely recommend any of the schemes, but they are of the opinion that a superannuation fund should be established on an actuarial basis. The establishment of such a fund would, in their opinion, tend to make for a more contented Service.



Condition of fund.

omcers' complaints.

omcers • requestl.


Favorable evidence.


955. Some representatives of Associations strongly objected to Regu­ lation 41, forbidding officers to take part in politics. This Regulation has since been repealed, and on 8th January, 1909, the followinD" new Regulation New Regulation. was framed in lieu thereof :-


An officer shall not-(a) publicly comment upon the administration of any Department of the Commonwealth ; or (b) use for any purpose, other than for the discharge of his official

duties, information gained by or conveyed to him throu!Yh his connexion .with the Public Service. e

956. Your Commissioners consider that t·he · Jtegul8ttiqn sufficiently protects full ciyil rights of officials, . ,


PaYm.ent ea.nnot be enforced.

Law should bl) amended.

tendering evidence.

Buildings inspected by Commissioners.



957. Leading officials stated that the Department ·cannot enforce payment of debts by officers, ·and some witnesses desired the amendment of the Commonwealth Public Service Act in such a way as to provide that the penalty for not satisfying the judgment of the Court by payment of debt.s be forfeiture of office.

958. Your Commissioners recommend that provision should be made to enable the Department to compel officers to liqu.idate the just claims of their creditors.


959. Evidence was tendered relative to this matter by the Secretary of the Home Affairs Department, Commonwealth Public Service Inspectors, leading officials of the Department, and representatives of Associations . Information was also received from representatives of public bodies,'?and of commercial houses. · ··

Your Commissioners made personal inspection of the following

premises:-New South Wales-The General Post Office; the Line Construction Branch; the Central Stables ; the Suburban Telephone Exchanges of North Sydney, Newtown, Redfern, William-street, and Manly. Victoria-The General · Post Office; the Telephone Exchanges City,

Central, and ·windsor ; and the Post Offices at South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, and Melbourne North. Queensland-The General Post Office, and the Stores Branch. South Australia-The General Post Office. Western Australia--The General Post Office ; the Post Offices at Fre­

mantle, Cottesloe, Kalgoorlie, and Boulder. Tasmania-The General Post Office, and the Post Office;

New South Wales.

state of offices in 961. Leading officials stated that the Mail Branch, the Parcel Post Sydney. Branch, the Money Order Office, and the Correspondence and R.ecord Branches at the General Office, Sydney, are not only unsuitable for the purpose of providing effective control, but are totally insufficient for public and Depart­

mental requirements.

Accommodation bad.

962. R.epresentatives of Associations complained that the General Post Office is altogether too congested for efficient working and proper supervision ; that the ventilation is bad; and that there is the further disadvan­ tage of working under artificial light .

. 963. It was stated that the accommodation provided for the Clericl').l . Bmnches was most inadequate, being based on requirements of 30 years 'ago; that the present in the mail room would lessen the

-liO'ht and decrease the vent1latwn. It was alleged that accommodatiOn 0 '

provided for the Parcel Post Branch was unhealthy; that the letter carriers' room is too small to accommodate the number of men employed therein ; that the. light in this room is artificial, and the ventilation bad; and that the room's situation over the boiler connected with the Electric Light Branch made it most uncomfortable during the summer months. It was alleged that this "l'oom was washed out only once every three months, and was overrun with certain species of vermin, and that an insufficient number of cleaners were provided ; also that there is only provision made for six water-closets for about 130 to 140 officers. The general condition of these cJosets was .alleged to be that pfficers refused to 11se them1


964. It was contended that the letter carriers' room could not comply with the Factoties Act conditions.


965. Further complaint was made that mail hags are turned ·in the sorting room, causing considerable dust; that the fitters' accommodation was ill ventilated, badly lighted, and not regularly cleaned ; that the telephone exchange was badly ventilated, and that an adequat e retiring room was

:Bad light and bad ventilation.


· 966. A witness complained that there is a grave danger of officers contracting tuberculosis on account of the want of proper regulations con­ cerning officers suffering froni that disease. This witness suggested that sputum cups should be provided, walls and ceilings annually cleaned and sprayed with disinfectants ; that vacuum cleaners should be used; that mail

bags should be periodically soaked in disinfectantj solution, and that these bags be opened in a separate room. --

967. The caretaker complained that the cleaning staff was insufficient; that the cleaner in charge of the latrines was inefficient; and that inexperienced cleaners were appointed. This witness stated that in 1906 he reported that the staff was inadequate, but failed to obtain extra assistance, but that

since the Commissioners' visit the cleaning staff has been increased by the appointment of five additional cleaners.

968. Your Commissioners consider that the Sydney General Post Office building is badly designed, ill-ventilated, and totally inadequate to provide accommodation for public requirements and the necessities of the Service.

969. Since this investigation commenced, efforts nave been made to improve the conditions, by removing the Money Order Office and Parcel Post Branch to other premises, and alterations have been ·made to the interior design, with the object of providing more accommodation for the Mail and

Clerical Branches.

970. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that these alterations will not effectively overcome the insufficiency of accommodation, bad ventilation, and working under artificial light, but will, in their opinion, as far as ventilation and light for the M:ail Branch are concerned, accentuate the present disabilities.

971. The adoption . of the recommendation made in regard to poste restante, paragraph 358, will obviate the necessity for the proposed increased accommodation for the Delivery Branch.

972. Your Commissioners consider that it will be impossible to effect important improvements, which are absolutely necessary in the public and departmental interests, until the Sydney General Post Office is completely remodelled.

Danger of tuberculosis.

Cleaning statr insuftlcient.

Sydney General Post Oftl.ce bundtng bad!.r designed.

Improvements attempted.

Alterations no\ effective.

Remodelling required.

9'73. The premises known as the Victoria Markets were suggested by Recommendation. a witness as suitable for a General Post Office. This witness was of opinion that a transfer of sites could be arranged between the Postal and Municipal authorities. Your Commissioners consider that prompt action should be taken in this matter, and recommend t.hat a portion, if not the whole, of the

block upon which the General Post Office is now situate, be resumed for the purpose of extending the present premises, or that the site known as the Belmore Markets be taken jnto consideration as a site for a Central Mail Depot.

974. Your Commissioners found that the conditions ex-isting in the Mail Branch of the Sydney General Post Office, at the time of their personal visit, were such as to show a considerable amount of carelessness and neglect on the part of those responsible in not providing . fot proper wa.nt of

cleanliness. The immediate appointment that then made to the cleaning clea.n.Uness. stafi was absolutely essential.


Removal of boiler. 975. Your Commissioners consider that action should be taken to remove the boiler now used in connexion with the Electric Light Branch, and that it would be more economical to make arrangements with the Sydney City Council to provide the necessary lighting power.

Space inadequate. 976. It was discovered that the suburban telephone exchanges were scandalously inadequate in the space provided for the telephonists. These officials were working under very trying conditions. At Manly the congestion of space was so marked that it was surprising that the officials could perform their duties.

New exchange recommendeu at Manly.

Stables not sufficiently commodious.


Unsuitable accommodation and bad lighting, General Post Office, Melbourne.

Insanitary conditions.

977. Your Commissioners recommend in connexion with the Manly Telephone Exchange that, if not already done, immediate action should be taken to provide a suitable exchange.

978. Either new buildings, or extended accommodation, had been provided at most of the other exchanges visited, but these facilities were not availed of pending the installation of new switchboards referred to in para­ graph ll7 of this Report.

979. The post-office stables in Sydney are not sufficiently commodious, and . do not possess adequate means of exit in case of fire. The present premises used as. stables are he1d on lease.

;r 980. Should motor cars, for the purpose of mail transport, as reeom­

mended jn this Report, paragraph 337, be not adopted, your Commissioners recommend that the Department should erect stables in dose proximity to the site of the proposed Mail

981. Further recommendations will be made in this Report under "Hygienic Conditions," which will have a general application to all the postal buildings in large centres throughout the Commonwealth.


982. Complaints were received from leading officials, and representa­ tives of Associations that the Mail Branch accommodation in the Melbourne General Post Office was unsuitable, inadequate, badly lighted, and that the large pmars therein interfered with efficient working. It was alleged that this building was very dirty, but the cleaning is stated to have been more thorough since the inauguration of this inquiry,

983. It was stated that in the Parcel Post Branel1 effeetive supervision and economical management are difficult . to attain owing to this branch occupying several. floors. This branch is in a separate building from the General Post Office . It was alleged that the Electrical Engineer's accommodation is inadequate, and almost uninhabitable during the summer months; that space is not provided for a library and experimental room; and that the telegraph operating room, while sufficiently commodious, is badly designed.

984. Representatives of Associations stated that more sorting presses are required ; that there is not sufficient provision for the receipt and despatch ·of mail matter ; that the sorters complain about being compelled to utilize the cellar, where mail bags are turned, as a changing room; that the bag­

turning room is unsuitable, and the ventilation inadequate. Further, these witnesses alleged that the precautions against infection from tuberculosis are not effective, and that some offieials have been working in the sorting room who were in an advanced stage of consumption. They also stated that a lavatory was· not provided, and that the provisions for washing were very inadequate, only two basins and three towels being supplied for 250 officers ; the latrines were very dirty and inadequate, and situated a long distance

from the branch. · · · . ·


985. It was complained. that effective supervision of the Melbourne Telephone Exchange was most difficult, as it occupies four floors.

986. Complaint was also made that the stores buildings, which are also separate from the General Post Office, are scattered, inadequate, un­ suitable, and expensive for handling goods. It was stated that the matter of providing a new stores building near the central railway station and wharfs was receiving attention. ·

987. Evidence was received .that t.he post-office stables, which are situated in South Melbourne, are too far removed from the General Post Office, and that this results in loss of time and consequent expense.

988. One witness stated that the Department pays rent for suburban p9st-offi.ce premises, and alleged that in some instances the rent which has been paid would have covered the cost of erection of more suitable departmental buildings.

989. The accommodation provided at the Windsor Telephone was found to be Of a most primitive character, badly lighted, and almost devoid of ventilation. During the summer the working conditions of the tele­ phonists employed at this exchange must have been most unbearable. The

unhealthiness of · this exchange is shown by the very high percentage of officials compelled to absent themselves f'ro m duty on sick leave, and serious cases of illness have occurred. Your Commissioners consider that the very trying conditions under which the telephonists in this exchange have been

compelled to work are not equalled in any busy exchange in the Common­ wealth. Adjacent t o the present exchange a new building has been con­ structed on the most modern plan, to which the service is now in process of being transformed, and which will be shortly occupied. This exchange

building _has been completed for nearly two years, and your Commissioners must express their condemnation of the laxity of the Departml3nt in not expediting its use.

990. The post-office at South Melbourne is most inadequate to meet the demands of the public, and the space allotted working of the office is too small, badly lighted, and ill-ventilated. For the payment of. old-age pensions the Department is compelled to use the Drill room, necessitating the absence of the local postmaster from his office for at least four days every

month. Your Commissioners recommend that the construction of a new building upon the site secured by the Department opposite to the present post-office be immediately proceeded with.

991. In connexion with Port Melbourne, your Commissioners, while appreciating the provision for a new building now in process, consider that it will be necessary to retain postal facilities in dose proximity to the wharfs in the interest of shipping and the trave1ling public.

992. The accommodation provided at the North Melbourne Post Office is most inadequate to meet public requirements. The space allotted for the officials is cramped, poorly ventilated, badly lighted, and in every way most unsuitable. The payment of old-age pensions at this offiee necessitates the

requisitioning the use of other premises. Your Commissioners recommend the early construction of new postal buildings.

993. The accommodation at the Melbourne General Post O:ffiee is insufficient for proper working facilities ; the building is ill-designed ; and the branches are scattered to such an extent as to cause inconv.enience to the public. t !. i.L;.. ___ _


Unsuitable buildings difficult of supervision.

Windsor Exchange.

Unbearable and unhealthy conditions.

Post-office, South Melbourne.


Post-offices, Port Melbourne.

Post-office, North Melbourne.


AccommodatiOll insufficient,


Recommendation. 994. Your Commissioners recommend that the General Post Office be remodelled, and, if necessary, extended. The removal of the Sorting Branch, as recommended in paragraph 333, would enable better provision to be. made in the General Post Office for the other branches in the public and depart­ mental interests. Closer attention should be given t.o cleaning, a.nd a sufficient staff appointed for that purpose.

Recommendations. 99 5. Your Commissioners recommend every expedition be taken

Brisbane Telephone Exchange.

to transfer the present telephone equipment to the new telephone exchange building.

996. In regard to suburban post-offices, your Commissioners recommend that the Department erect its own premises.


9 9 7. Complaints were made that the exchange at Brisbane is in an unsuitable building, not possessing sufficient floor space; that it is badly lighted; that the roof leaked; and that the telephonists' retiring rooms are bad. It was stated that this exchange is an abnormal fire risk. It was alleged that the stores accommodation in the new General Post Office building do es not furnish equal facilities to the present premises. ·

998. Your Commissioners found that the operating room at the General Post Office, Brisbane, was in a deplorable condition, showing an utter disregard of cleanliness. The latrines were totally inadequate, and in a most insanitary condition.

Recommendation. 9 9 9. Your Commissioners recommend the construction of a :fireproof

New Telephone Exchange badly ventilated.

:RecoUlDlettda. tion.

Unsuitable buildings.

exchange building, and consider that the alterations and additions to the General Post Office, which were in process of construction at the time of their visit, will, when completed, afford ample accommodation.

South A ustraUa.

1000. officials considered . that the interior of the General

Post Office, Adelaide, is unsuitably desig:iled, and stated that the branches are so scattered that adequate supervision is impossible, especially in con­ nexion with the Accounts Branch; that the new telephone exchange building is badly ventilated; and that no provision has been made for openings to allow the cables and wires to enter the building. The Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs stated that the ventilation in the exchange room had been improved recently, and that the necessary provision had been made to admit the cables. ·

1 001. Your Commissioners recommend that the General Post Office, Adelaide, be remodelled, and the interior design so altered as to provide the requisite facilities for effective supervision.

liVestern A 1tstralia.

. 1002. Complaints were received from leading officials and representa­ of Associations that the General Post Office building is unsuitable, the

Parcel Post, Stores, Telephone and Record Branches being congested; that effective supervision and a definite system of organization was impossible; that the Accounts Branch occupies fourteen different rooms, and supervision is impracticable. In the Stores Branch the accommodation is scattered, and the section within the General Post Office building is situated at the top of the building, no provision being made for the handling of heavy stores.

1003. The telephone exeha.nge B,t Perth is badly ventilated, of limited space, and is· a mot?t serious fire risk.


1004. ·Further complaints were made that in the Mail Branch officers B::.d sanitary continually worked under artificial light, and that, through the English and conditions. foreign mails being opened where sorted, the dust arising therefrom jeopardized the health of the sorters. In most of the branches the ventilation is bad ;

and the sanitary accommodation is considered inadequate. In addition to bad ventilation; the light and air space in the telegraphists' room are inadequate; and it was alleged that the health of the officers occupying this room was materially affected, and that the accommodation did not compare favorablv

with the ·office premises provided by commercial institutions. :<\.considerable portion of the General Post Office building is occupied by State Departments.

1005. It was stated that the Boulder Post Office is badly designed, Badly to the public, and one of worst .o,ffices in the State. buildings.

Alterations were in progress to effect certain improvements.

1006. Your Commissioners consider that the General Post Office, unsuitable site. Perth, is a most building. Its structural formation hinders the

providing of facilities in the . public interest, precludes t,he possibility of effective supervision, and militates against eflicient organization. The present site is not sufficiently convenient, and the representations made as to its many disadvantages were fully borne out. The general want of

adaptability of the present building for postal requirements is such that attempts to remodel the interior design would be most expensive and unsatisfactory.


1007. Your Commissioners recommend the early construction of a Recommendation. new General Post Office building of modern design, on a site adjacent to the railway station.


1 008. Your Commissioners consider that the accommodation provided Recommendation. in Hobart and Launceston is ample and convenient. . ,

1009. In Hobart the Department rents a store at £30 per annum as a safeguard against loss by fire. Your Commissioners do not consider this expenditure to be necessa:ry.

Buildings.-Fire Risks.

1010. During their personal inspection of the General Post Offic.e buildings, your Commissioners paid special attention to the matter of fire risks, and the provision made for exits in casB of fire. It was stated bv representatives of Associations that in the Exchange the

means provided for exit were insufficient; that this exchange was not sufficiently equipped with fire extinguishing appliances; and that fire drill of the staff was necessary. The Telephone Manager claimed that the present fire escapes Fire escapes. would enable the staff to leave the exchange room within one minute of an

alarm. This witness stated that the fire brigade authorities were satisfied with the provisions made. The State Electrical Engineer considered that · there was ample provision for fire escapes from this exchange.

10 11·. An assistant engineer in the Queensland Branch considered Abnormal ftre that the Telephone Exchange, Brisbane, is an abnormal fire risk, the floor, risk. partitions, and ceilings being of wood. This witness stated that in other countries the practice is to construct telephone exchange buildincrs with concrete walls and floors. He considered that when the common °batterv

board is completed the exits will be inadequate.

1012. The Superintendent of the Fire Brigade, Perth, considered that Another fire risk. the Perth Telephone Exchange is liable to fire at any moment. The Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs corroborated this evidence, and stated that the General Post Office, Perth, is the worst fire risk the Commonwealth '


possesses. The Chief Electrical Engineer also indorsed this opinion by stating that the Perth Exchange is the worst risk, and he considered the Brisbane Exchange is also a risk. This witness stated that the question of fire risks in t elephone buildings was being considered by a Board.

Further structural al tera ti ons required.

1013. Although ample facilities are apparently provided in the Sydney Telephone Exchange room itself in case of outbreak of fire, further structural alterations and fire escapes are necessary to provide complete exitn from the General Post Office building. In the Perth and Brisbane exchanges the fire risks are serious.

Fire-proof exchanges . recommended:.

1014. There have been of recent date several serious conflagrationR in t elephone exchanges in other parts of the world, notably, one in Paris) two in London, one in Antwerp, one in Zurich, and one in Manchester.

1015. To minimize the danger of fires occurring in the telephone exchanges of the Commonwealth, your Commissioners recommend that the Department should construct telephone exchange buildings of fire-proof material. ·

Design of Post Office Buildings.

Buildings too 1016. Evidence was received that many post-office buildings are too ornate and costly. ornate and too costly ; that there is elaboration of style at the P.Xpense of utility; and that post-offices should be designed to meet public convenience and official requirements, especially in providing facilities for proper


Standard s;...ecification impracticable.

1017. Several witnesses suggested that small post-offices should be erected in accordance with a standard specification, but the Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs stated that a type design for smaller post-offices had been found to be impracticable, except as to internal arrangements, different designs being required for different places.

1018. Your Commissioners consider that in the past sufficient regard has not been paid to the internal design of post-office buildings. In most of the offices which they inspected the arrangements were unsuitable from both the public and the departmental stand-points. In the erecbon of new offices special attention should be given to suitable internal arrangements, and unnecessary expense or over-elaboration of external design avoided, and due provision should be made to permit of extension to meet future reg uirements.

Recommendation. 1019. Your Commissioners are of t.he opinion that the postal authorities

Insufficient attention to hygienic conditions.

are in a better position than the Department of Home Affairs to judge public and official requirements in connexion with the design of post-offices, and they have accordingly recommended that the erection of buildings be placed under the control of the Post and Telegraph Department.

Hygienic Conditions.

1020. It was discovered in the postal premises visited that full and proper regard has not been to hygienic conditions. In some it was found that the provisions of the Factory Acts as to samtatwn and working space, which are rigidly applied to private employers, had been ignored by the Department. Regulations enforced in the public interests various Boards of Health have not been applied to postal buildings.

1021. The matter of effective hygienic conditions is not only of consider­ able moment to the officials, but is of great concern to the general public through the possibility of the dissemination of disease germs, which is more. pronounced in the ca.$e of tuberculosis.



1022. ·with a view of reducing these dangers to a minimum, ahd in the ltecommendatiol11!. interests of public health, and with the desire of seeuring satisfaetory working eonditions for the officials, your Commissioners reeommend that the closest and sustained attention be given to secure effective hygienic_ conditions,

and make the following suggestions :-(1) In designing postal buildings provision be for large

working spaces, well ventilated, and With sufficient natural lighting. (2) Methods of improved ventilation and lighting should be mtro­ duced in present postal structures.

(3) The floors should be regularly serubbed, and sprayed with dis­ infectants. (4) The walls should be washed at least once in every six months, and disinfectants applied.

(5) Mail bags should be turned in a room set apart for the

purpose, and from dust by agitation in a motor-drivep. shaking machine, provided wit.h proper means to earry away the dust. (6) Mail bags should be occasionally washed in a solution of disinfectant

(7) Vacuum cleaners should be utilized.

(7 A) At the principal post-offices the roofs should be designed to permit of their use as recreation spaces.

(8) Proper lavatories and retiring rooms should be provided, and properly attended to.

(9) All latrines should be constructed in conformity with the best sanitation methods.

(10) These conveniences should be regularly scrubbed and disinfected, and in large offices special cleaners should be appointed to attend to this matter.

(ll) To prevent the dissemination of tuberculosis the staff .should be impressed with the necessity for taking the fullest precautions. Expectoration on floors, walls, and stairs should be abso­ lutely prohibited. Spittoons should be provided, and the :floors

regularly cleaned and sprayed to prevent dust. Those officers unfortunately suffering from consumption should be transferred to outdoor positions.

1023. Your Commissioners recommend that a sufficient and an Recommendation efficient cleaning staff be appointed to all the principal offices. For the purpose recleaning staff. of attending suburban offices, a staff of cleaners should be appointed by the Department, and the present practice of granting an allowance to postmasters for this purpose should be abolished.

1024. Your Commissioners recommend that medical supervision should Medical be provided in all principal offices.



1025. This section covers the provisions made for the conV'eyance of mails in sparsely-populated districts to and from the nearest post-office.

Evidence received.

Principle adopted regarding non-paying mail services.

State guarantee.

Justifiable requests met.

Trial mail services.


1026. Your Commissioners received evidence !rom representatives of public bodies and leading officials, but did not personally inspect the conditions existing for mail facilities in the remote district s, and are conse­ quently unable to decide whether the Department has granted adequate postal facilities to settlers in remote districts.

1027. The evidence showed that the principle adopted generally in regard t o non-paying new mail services has been that the whole of the estimated or actual revenue is granted t owards the cost, and that in regard to established services which have increased in cost, or decreased in revenue, the Department contributes half the deficiency, provided those interested arrange for the remaining half.

1028. The Permanent Head considered that unremunerative country mail services were dealt with more liberally prior to Federation, because the resulting development brought revenue to the State from other sources, and that the granting of these postal facilities must be governed by the funds placed at the disposal of the Department.

1029. It was contended by some leading officials that if mail services are desired by Stat e Governments for developmental purposes, but their establishment is not jm,tified under the Department's rules, they should be financed by the State Government giving the necessary guarantee.

1030. Other witnesses considered that in mail services the Department should defray an amount equal to two-thirds of the cost, those concerned to be required to submit a tender for that amount, or make good to the mail contractor the difference between that sum and the amount of tender.

1031. The Deputy Postmaster-General in South Australia stated that it was the unwritten law under the State Government to provide settlers with postal facilities, and that all justifiable requests in that State for extensions of mail services had been met.

1082. The Deputy Postmaster-General of WeLtern Australia considered that postal facilities are :wore necessary in Western Australia for develop­ mental purposes than in any other State. The Senior' Postal Inspector of that State contended that in the earlier stages trial mail services might be given for three or ,si.g: months by horse or bicycle, and, if necessary, a temporary mail receiver appointed, such mail services tQ be improved, or

abolished on inspectors' reports. This witness- expressed the opinion that the loss on mail services in sparsely -populated plist or aJ districts, where the prospect of closer settlement is remote, should be borne in the proportion of two-fifths each by Commonwealth and State, all;d ,'-fifth by the local authorities and settlers. Further, that settlers and locatauthorities in remote parts should assist the Department in getting contracts a:f; :reasonable ra.tes.

Farmers and Settlers' Association evidence.

1033. The representative of the Farmers' and Settlers' Association in New South wrales stated that country mail services should not be regarded · ·; commercially by the Department, but from the point of view of the pecessity ior the facilities. This witness considered that it is . essential that country

districts should receive the greatest possible postal facilities, and that these districts are not treated as liberally as they should be.

· Establishment of non-paying aervices difficult.

1034. The Assistant Secretary to the Department stated that the question of establishing non-paying mail services is a difficult one, as the Commonwealth only derives an indirect benefit, the States' Governments benefiting directly by increased settlement. _This witness c5msidered that if the Commonwealth Government were to contnbute all the estimated revenue plus 25 per cent., it would be doing its fair share, and that the States. should make up tJae diiierence. ·


10S5. The Senior Postal Inspector o£ Queensland considered that where pot:.tal services are required in remote localities, and only a few lease­ holders are concerned, the State should contribute portion of the revenue derived from rents to provide pot:.tal facilities. He stated that the practice

of residents combining to carry on mail services is increasing in favour in that State.

1036. The Senior- Postal Inspector of New South Wales suggested that an amount equal to the estimated revenue plus one-third should be offered in each case to the applicants to provide a suitable contractor.

State contribution.


1037. The system adopted by the Department in estimating the Estimation or probable revenue from any proposed service is based on the postage values probable revenue. on mail matter posted by the persons who will use the facility.

1038. The subjoined tables shows the. number of country mail services, and the loss or profit on such services in each State for 1908 :-

State. Number. Loss. Number. Profit.

£ £

New South Wales 363 9,655 548 82,890

Victoria 620 15,711 192 11,260

Queensland .. 339 18,671 176 9,530

South Austril,lia H2 8,285 107 17,812

Western Australia 125 9,748 25 1,338

Tasmania 86 1,910 121 11,601

Total 1,675 63,980 1,169 134,431

Net profit 70,451

1039. In view of the recommendations already made under Finance, Recommendations. paragraph 87, wherein it was advised that the Mail, Telephone, and 'relegraph Branches should be treated as distinct :financial propqsitions, and in each case considered in their Commonwealth aspect, your Commis-

sioners consider that, i:i these recommendations be adopted, the Department will be enabled to g:rant more liberal treatment in regard to the extension of postal facilities to country districts than has hitherto been the practice.

1040. Further, in view of the position, as disclosed in the above statement, which shows a net profit of over £70,000 per annum,

the demand for guarantees a:nd the curtailment of necessary services have not been warranted. Your Commissioners recommend that a re-adjustment of the proportionate losses should be effected, and that in future mail concessions be governed by the aggregate cost and revenue of

country services throughout the Commonwealth. '

1041. Further, your Commissioners are of the opinion that, in districts where there are distinct signs of progressive settlement, the Department should defray the whole expenditure of each mail service. In cases where, after a mail service has been provided, and it is found that owing to a variety

of causes the service is in excess of requirements the Department should reduce the cost by curtailing the frequency of such mail services.

1042. In cases where the Department is providing non-paying services, the local residents should co-operate with the Department, and endeavour to reduce the cost of the conveyance of the mails to a minimum.




1043. Parts XVII. and XVIII. of the Telephone Regulations pro­ vide as follows :-Erection of Public Telegraph or Telephone Lines under Guarantee. ll5. Any person may apply in writing to the Postmaster-General for

the construction of a'· telegraph or telephone line under these Regulations. ..__

ll6. Each application will be dealt with on its merits, but no appli­ cation will be granted unless the Postmaster-General is satisfied that the line applied for is required in the public interest. ll7. No application shall be granted for the construction of a line

not likely to yield a minimum revenue within a period of eight years after the construction of the line, unless the Postmaster­ General is satisfied that there are special circumstances rendering its construction desirable. Provided, however, that in cases where the estimated cost of the line applied for does not exceed £100, the Postmaster-General may permit the line to be constructed, notwithstanding that the conditions of this Regula­ tion as to minimum revenue do not obtain. 118. If the line is not likely to yield, annually, an amount sufficient

to provide-( a) For the cost of operating the line ; and (b) Ten per centum on the cost of constructing the line and supplying the instruments (to cover maintenance, renewals, &c.)

{which amount is referred to in these Regulations as a minimum revenue), the applicants shall, for the purpose of guaranteeing the receipt of that amount, comply with the following con­ ditions, namely :-(a) The applicants shall deposit with . the Postmaster-General a

a sum of money equal to the difference between the estimated revenue from the line for two years and the minimum revenue for two years. (b) The applicants shall enter into a joint and several bond, in a

sum to be fixed by the Postmaster-General, conditioned to make good, to an extent not exceeding the difference between the estimated revenue and the minimum revenue, any sum by which the receipts from the line in any year, during a period of seven years after the completion of the line, fall short of a minimum revenue. ll9. The sum deposited with the Postmaster-General shall .be placed

to his credit in a Savings Bank, and such sum and any interest thereon shall be available for the purpose of making good in any year any amount by which the yearly receipts from the line fall short of a minimum revenue, and the sums required for that purpose may be withdrawn from the bank and paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund at such times as the Postmaster­ General thinks proper. 120. The bond shall be in a form approved by the Postmaster-General,

and payments under it shall be made within one month after demand by the Postmaster-General ; but no such demand shall be made so long as the sum deposited, or any balance thereof, is sufficient to make good the amount required. 121. After the expiration of seven years from the completion of the

line, the bond may be renewed or a new bond executed for such further period as the Postmaster-General directs, and if the bond is not so renewed, or a new bond executed, the Post­ master-General may, unless he is satisfied that the line will yield a minimum revenue, remove it and the instruments.


122. Any balance of the sum deposited or interest thereon may, after the expiration of seven years from the completion of the line. be returned to the applicants.

123. The line and instruments shall remain the property of the Postmaster-General.

Public Telegraph (or Telephone) lines erected and maintained by the persons desiring such lines, instead of by the Department underG uarantee.

124. 1n cases where the estimated probable t elegraph (or telephone) revenue is not sufficient to justify the erection and maintenance by the Department of a telegraph (or telephone) line for public use without guarantee, and where it is considered by the

persons applying for the erection and maintenance of a tele­ graph ·or telephone line, that it will be to their advantage to construct and maintain the line at their own expense, the Postmaster-General may authorize the construction and

maintenance of the line by those persons subject ·to the following conditions :-1. The erection of the line shall be subject to Regulations con­ tained in Part XIV. of these Regulations, so far as they are

applicable, but _ so that-(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Post and Tele­ graph Act 1901, or in any Regulations, the persons con­ structing the line shall not have or exercise any power

to enter upon or interfere with any private land without the consent, in writing, or the owner thereof, the onus of obtaining which consent shall lie upon the persons con­ structing the line.

(b) Where the line is erected upon private land, the method of construction shall be at the option of the persons con­ structing the line, subject to the approval, in writing, of the owners of the land, the onus of obtaining which approval

shall lie upon the persons constructing the line. ·

(c) Where the line is erected upon public land of the Common­ wealth or of a State, or on or across a road, railway, track, or other place used for traffic or accessible to the public the m:ethod of construction, and the poles and other material

to be used shall be subject to the approval of the Deputy Postmaster-General, but the approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(d) No licence-fees shall be charged.

2. The persons constructing and maintaining the line shall nominate and submit to the Postmaster-General the names of one or two persons as the trustees for the line, to represent them, and to receive on their account the amounts payable by the

Postmaster-General, as hereinafter provided, for the use of the line for public purposes. .

3. Upon. the completion of the line the Postmaster-General may make arrangements for its use for public business, and pro­ vide for such attendance as may be necessary for operating the line at the cost of his Department.

4. The charges for the use of the line by all persons, including those by whom it has been erected, and by whom it is to be main­ tained, shall . be those prescribed by the Act or Regulations, for the tim:e being, for telegrams or telephonic conversations.



Two alternatives provided.

Deputy Postmasters­ General recommend more liberal treatment.

Financial aspect of country facilities.


5. In consideration of the erection and maintenance by the persons concerned of the line for public business, the Postmaster­ General shall pay to tlj_e trustees for the line such a sum as is from time to time agreed upon, but not more than will equal

a payment for every message transmitted from the new offices on the line of two-thirds of the rates prescribed for suburban telegraph messages, or not more than two-thirds of the rate prescribed for telephonic conversations with the office with which the line is directly connected.

6. The Postmaster-General may at any time take possession line, paying to the owners thereof such compensation as is agreed upon, or, failing agreement, as is settled by arbitra­ tration as provided by Section 155 of the Post and Telegraph

Act 1901.

1 044. The Permanent Head defended the present system on the grounds that in the Commonwealth those who .desire the construction of works, the productiveness of which is open to question, are not confined to a system of guarantee. He pointed out that under the existing Regulations the persons interested can construct and maintain such works themselves and retain two-thirds of the receipts. This. witness considered that these two methods afford reasonable facilities for the provision of non-paying services, and that while sufficient funds cannot be obtained for works of national importance and works of a reproductive character, the execution of minor

works which are not of that character must necessarily remain in abeyance . •

1045. A Conference of Deputy Postmasters-General, held in 1908, recom­ mended that t elegraphic and telephonic communication should be established without guarantee when the estimated rev-enue equals 75 per cent. of the minimum revenue required, thus removing the present restriction that the difference between the two shall not exceed £5 per annum. This Conference further recommended that where telegraphic or telephonic services are desired by State Governments for developmental purposes, but their establishment is not justified under the Department's rules, the serV'ice should be provided on the State Gov-ernment giving the necessary guarantee.

046. The Chief Electrical Engineer stated that, until it is shown that

there is a margin of profit after all proper charges have_ been met, it would be unwise to extend facilities or reduce charges, and that the Department has endeav-oured to meet demands by erecting cheap lines on trees, fences, or light poles. This witness considered this system to be advantageous when the residents undertake maintenance, but stated that the tendency is to av-oid that responsibility. ·

Provisions liberal. 1047. The State Electrical Engineer of New South Wales considered that the Regulations under which extensions are provided in sparsely populated districts are fairly liberal. This witness stated that there appears to be an impression that the guarantees are excessive and that the Department's estimates are too high, but the estimates are based on initial cost of similar works. He explained that provision is also made for residents to erect and work lines themselves, such p:rovisions being reasonable unless the Depart-. ment is prepared to erect and maintain lines at a considerable loss. He

further stated that cheap construction methods have been introduced in order to provide telephone communication for a number of small places, but that these cheap lines will not last long and will have to be reconstructed within ·a few years. ·

1048. The State Electrical Engineer of Victoria stated that telephone extensions are granted in remote districts at rates which do not repay cost of construction and maintenance. This witness considered that settlers should be encouraged to erect and maintain their own lines, because in many

cases it is easier for them than for the Department to do so, but that the lines


should be built according to departmental specifications. He was of opinion that the Department has gone as far as possible in the direction of encourage­ ment in offering to construct lines for people in country districts, and that the guarantee system is necessary.

· 1049. The State Electrical Engineer of Queensland was of opinion that the governing telegraph and telephone extensions are liberal

and do not require amendment. .


1050. The State Electrical Engineer of South Australia considered l!hlggesttons tor that the Regulations governing telephone facilities meet requirements in fairly improvement. settled districts. This witness considered .that settlers in remote and sparsely populated districts should have telephone communication with the nearest

telegraph office, and stated that this is provided where telegraph lines exist and can be spared for the purpose, but where no such lines exist, single-wire lines from the nearest telegraph station should be built by the Department in approved localities, to which private lines (which may be wire fences)

could be connected at subscribers' expense ·; such lines could also be used for telephone intercommunication. ·

1051. The State Electrical Engineer of Western Australia stated that extensions "have been made in sparsely-populated agricultural districts by use of the Railway Department's wires at a charge of 5s. per mile per annum; also by direct lines on trees an.d fences, but that difficulty is experienced in

maintaining the latter. This was of opinion that the Regulations make reasonable provision for extensions in country districts, but that non­ paying services might be provided out of revenue if the telephone rates in large centres were increased sufficiently to return a surplus.

· 1052. The State Electrical Engineer of Tasmania considered that telegraphic and telephonic extensions are provided on reasonable conditions, and stated that outlying districts in Tasmania are well served with respect to these facilities. He expressed the opinion that the guarantee system is

necessary in country telephone extensions.

1 ()53. The Telephone Manager, Melbourne, considered that telephone development in country districts by means of trunk lines solely erected by the Department, or lines partly or solely erected by the persons concerned, has the effect of increasing the number of subscribers in the adjoining towns.

He was of opinion . that remote towns should be given encouragement and advice upon the erection of lines. Such lines may be erected on poles, trees, or fences, but endeavour should be made to have the lines substantially con­ structed, especially when they ultimately connect with main trunk routes.

The·expenditure of a few .extra pounds on the first cost is the most economical method in the end.

1054. No public evidence on this matter beyond complaints in regard Delays 1n to delays in granting facilities was presented.

1055. If the recommendations made in this Report in regard to the provision of necessary funds are adopted, the Department will be in a position to promptly grant all reasonable demands for telegraphic and telephonic facilities in country districts.

1056.· Your Commissioners recommend · that the Department should Recomm.endatiohll. erect Government · Jines where a sufficient number of private· subscribers desire to connect thereto. Such a system would be an inducement to sub-scribers, assist development, and make for economy. They are of the

opinion that any surplus to the credit of the telephone service should be dis-tributed in expanding the service in country . districts, as the latter act ' as feeders to the great centres, and are entitled to special consideration; such distribution to be proportioned to the several States according to their



11eeds. Your Commissioners are convinced that the revenue in connexion with facilities in country districts has in the past been estimated on an over­ cautious basis, and they recommend that the Department view this matter in a more generous spirit.

1057. Your Commissioners consider that it is essential to continue the guarantee system in connexion with non-paying lines, except .when the estimated revenue is not less than 75 per cent. of t.he minimum revenue required; such minimum revenue to be based upon 8 per cent. on the cost of construction plus maintenance and operating charges.


1058. Notifications were issued to members of both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, and to Municipal Councils, Chambers of Com­ merce, Chambers of Manufactures, and Stock Exchanges throughout the . Commonwealth, to the effect that any associations or public bodies desirous Evidence invited. of tendering evidence would be afforded an opportunity of doing so. In

addition to associations or public bodies which availed themselves of this opportunity, representatives of commercial firms in several States volunteered evidence.

General evidence received.

Complaints stated. ,

1059. The following is a recital of the principal complaints received:-


Evidence was tendered in this State by representatives of Sydney com­ mercial firms, the Farmers and Settlers' Association, the Country Storekeepers' Association, the Country Press Association, the Typographical Association, and statements were received from a number of Municipal Councils, to the following effect :-


(1) There is an absence of a business-like system, occasioning circum­ locutory methods in the Department.

(2) Excessive centralization exists and causes delays in public business. (3) There is a lack of accommodationJat the General Post Office, Sydney, and certain country

(4) The Haymarket Post Office, Sydney, is in a dirty condition.

(5) Insufficiency of staff causes delays in replying to public inquiries and complaints.

(6) There is a want of discipline among junior members of the staff.


(7) The postage rates are excessive, and not uniform. Claims were made for extension of the penny post radius in country towns, and for the general introduction of penny postage. · ·

(8) The sorting arrangements at the General Post Office are ineffective. It was stated that the want of proper facilities necessitated · · , officers being sent to business hoU.Ses to stamp catalogues. The employment of temporary sorters was a subject of complaint.

(9) Letters, packets, and parcels are lost. It was suggested that when packets and parcels are lost duplicates should be carried free. (10) Inquiry fee of __ 2id. should be abolished.

( 11) Rec0ipts should be furniShed for packets posted.

(12) Delays occur in return of unclahned matter.

(13) Correctly addressed packets have been retmned undelivered.

(14) Delay occurs in delivery of mails arriving from Queensland on ·

(l5) System of circular& to be. addressed ''Householder"

should be abolish(}d.

(16) Letter pillars are cleared before advertised time.

( 17) Letter boxes are required at country offioos.

(18) Country postmarks are often indecipherable.

Parcel Post.

(19) Rates are excessive· and should be reduced.

Rates are too low. They should be . on the z;one system, and the

weight limit should be reduced 'in the interests of country store. .

(21) The insurance provision shonld be ext.ended.

(22) po!'!t rates are ex:cessive and should be

(23) Value payable parcel post should be abolished in justice to country traders.

N (3wspa,

(24) Facilities should be afforded country press to post newspapers at railway travelling post.offioes up to time of despatch of trains. (25) Wrappers should be issued by the Department for country news­ pape:ra.

Country Mails.

(26) Country mail services are being curtailed.

(27) It is difficult to obtain adequate mail services for country districts.

(28) Mail contractors and drivers should be able to read and write.

Money Orders.

(29) Rates to European countries are excessive.


(30) There are delays in delivery of telegrams.

(31) Telegrams are lost in transit.

(32) The telegraph lines are insufficient, causing _ delays in transmission, and the payment of urgent rates to secure expedition.

charge for repeat messages is excessive.

(34) Receipts should be obtained for telegrams on delivery.

(35) Press rates should be reduced.

(36) Press cable rates should be reduced.

(37) should be transmitted in order lodged.

m regard to press messages should be abolished,



(38) The Sydney service is unsatisfactory, and delays occur in the exchange.

(39) Concessions in rates should be given to domestic subscribers.

(40) Watson's Bay and Vaucluse service is unsatisfactory. An exchange should be established at Vaucluse.

( 41) Delays occur iri. providing facilities in country districts.

{42) More trunk lines are required.

(43) There should be trunk lines to all country towns where newspapers are published.

Stamp Printing.

(44) Printing of New South Wales stamps should not be removed to Melbourne, but should remain at Sydney until establishment of Federal Capital.


1060. Evidence was received in this State from the Chamber/ of Com­ merce, Melbourne, the representative of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, and certain shipwrights formerly employed by the Department, to the following effect :-

(1) There is an absence of business methods in the Department.

(2) Errors occur in the sorting and delivery of letters which display carelessness and lack of discipline.

(3) There are instances of non-delivery and delay in delivery of tele­ grams.

(4) The Melbourne telephone service is most unsatisfactory.

(5) The Department employs untrained :fitters at less than standard rates.

(6) Pole dressing is executed by non-tradesmen.


1061. Statements were submitted by several Chambers of Commerce and Municipal Councils in the northern portion of the State, vide Appendices XXX. and XXXI. to the Minutes of Evidence. In these statements the following complaints were presented :-

(1) The post-office at Mackay is undermanned, and there is general disorganization of postal business, mainly due to want of local knowledge on the part of the officials.

(2) Local mail services, Mackay and Bowen districts, are insufficient.

(3) Delays occur in despatch of mails, and also in delivery of mails from coastal steamers. .

( 4) Delays occur in connexion with mails to the Gulf district.

(5) Parcel mails to Gulf district are delayed.

(6) Penny postage area should be extended to Mount Morgan.

(7) Local Heads of Departments should be given more power.

(8) Receipts should ·be obtained for telegrams.

(9) The telegraph service in the Gulf district is defective.


(10) Paucity of telegraph lines in North Queensland causes delays, and payment of urgent rates to secure ex.pedition.

(11) Want of privacy at public telegraph counter, Bowen.

(12) Posting of_ shipping and meteorological news at post-office, Bowen, is inadequate.

(13) Considerable difficulty is experienced_ jin obtaining telephone facilities.

(14) Great delay has occurred in establishing a telephone exchange at Bowen.

(15) Proper telephone accommodation is required at post-office, Nor­ manton.


1062. Evidence was tendered in this State by the representatives of the Adelaide Chamber of Manufactures, and an. Adelaide commercial agent, and statements were received hom the Importers' and Agents' Association of Port Adelaide, and several country municipal councils (vide Appendix XXXI.

to the Minutes of Evidence).

The main complaints received were as follow :-(1) More business-like management and decentralization are necessary.

(2) Postage rates and stamps are not uniform. Penny postage and , a Commonwealth. stamp should be introduced. ·

(3) Delays occur in delivery of telegrams.

(4) Receipts for telegrams should be introduced.

(5) In telegrams a lower rate should be charged for words in excess of first sixteen.

(6) Department should not retain private telegrams of advice in con­ nexion .with telegraphic money orders.' Department should advise payee.

Telephone service, Port Adelaide, is most unsatisfactory ..

· (8} Telephone service between Adelaide and Port Adelaide IS very bad.

(9) Gawler Post Office accommodation is inadequate.

(10} The office arrangements at Kapunda are defective.

(11) Post-offices at Mount Gambier and Kapunda are undermanned.

(12} Delays have occurred in furnishing -private letter boxes at Kapunda.

{13) A telephone trunk line is required between Kapunda and Adelaide.

(14) Telephone trunk line charges are too high.

{15) Charges extension of country telephone subscribers' lines are excessive.


1063. Evidence was submitted in this State by the representatives of the Chambers of Commerce at Perth and. Fremantle, the Superintendent of Fire Brigades at Perth, and by several Municipal Councils, to the following effect:-

(1) Anabnormal fire risk exists in the Perth Telephone Exchange.

(2) Tenders for Departmental supplies should be called. for each State instead of for the whole Commonwealth.



(3) Mail bags should be provided on country trains for the convenience of producers.

(4) Insured parcels for Straits Settlements are forwarded via London. (Incorrect. According to Post and Telegraph Guide, such parcels are fo:rwarded via India.)

(5) Receipts should be obtained for telegrams.

(6) Reputable firms should not be called upon to lodge deposits to cover cost of repeat telegrams.

(7) Double telegraph rates are charged from Fremantle to Eastern States after 6 p.m. It was claimed that the time should be 8 p.m.; as in other States.

(8) Subscribers with more than one telephone should be allowed to aggregate their calls.

(9) The telephone service at Fremantle is most unsatisfactory.

(10) The poles at Kalgoorlie and at Boulder are overloaded; the telephone wires should be undergrounded.

(11) The Boulder post-office is unsuitable.

(12) Sufficient staff is not provided at the money order counter, Boulder.

(13) Delays occur in delivery of letters at Boulder.

(14) Department should issue receipts for registered letters, instead of requiring the public to make out form in duplicate.

(15) Certificate of second officer, before payment of telegraphic money orders, causes delay.

(16) Telegraph office, Kalgoorlie, should be open all night.

(I 7) Telephone trunk lines are required from Kalgoorlie and Boulder to Perth, Kanowna to Ginbaldie, and an additional line between Kanowna and Kalgoorlie.

(18) Telephones are not efficiently inspected.

_(19) More attention is required at Kalgoorlie Exchange between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

(20) Salaries, allowances, and privileges of officers on the gold-fields are inadequate. -

(21) The hours of telephone attendants at Kalgoorlie are excessive.

(22) half-holiday at certain country post-offices causes



1064. Evidence was received from the representatives of the Chambers of Commerce at Hobart and Launceston, and a Hobart commercial agent. Statements were submitted by several country Municipal Councils. The complaints made were as under :-


(1) The winter mail service with the mainland is not sufficiently frequent, and should be the same as the summer service.

(2) The King Island mail service is insufficient.

(3) Delays occur in deliveries of mails. English and Inter-State mails should be sorted on the steamer, and the Hobart mail on the train. Hobart mails should not be detained at Launceston.

(4) Delays occur in mails between Devonport and surrounding district. Within _ a 20-miles radius, mails should be delivered on day of despatch,


(5)· An early letter delivery is required at Glenorchy.

(6) More mail services are required in country districts.

(7) Staff to attend to public at Hobart and Launceston is insufficient.

(8) Addition of messengers to staff at certain country offices is required.

' (9) Better accommodation and a Money Order Branch are required at Ranelagh, and the should be open for an hour at night. (10) Private letter boxes at Devonport post office are insecure.

(11) Allowances paid to certain unofficial employes are inadequate.

(12) Errors and delays occur in connexion with telegrams.

(13) Telegrams should be paid for in cash and not in stamps. . .

(14) Arrangements are required for delivery of telegrams from certain unofficial offices. ' (15) The telephone service at Launceston is very unsatisfactory.

(16) Tasmanian trunk line services are bad.

(1 '7) Telephone service at Devonport is unsatisfactory, and not private.

(18) Telephone facilities in country districts are insufficient.

(19) More public telephones are required in country towns.

(20) Telephone rates to domestic subscribers should be reduced.

1065. In addition to complaints received in evidence, and in statements Individual from representative bodies, numerous individual complaints were received complaints. in every State. Your Commissioners were not able to investigate these individual complaints, but submit a list of the subjects upon which the

complaints were based :-


(1) Delays and errors in delivery of letters.

(2) Loss of letters, parcels, and registered articles.

(3) Lists of undelivered mail matter are not published.

( 4) Inadequate country mail services;

( 5) Delays in arrival of country mails.

(6) Delay in delivery of English mail letters arriving at Adelaide on Saturdays.

(7) Insufficiency of sorting and delivery staff at Adelaide.

(8) Licensed ·vendors' commission paid in stamps instead of in cash.

(9) Prohibition order issued under section 57 (e), Post and Telegraph Act.

(10) Penny postage on circulating library books.

(ll) Payment of money order on forged signature. (12) Delays in transmission of telegrams and cables.

(13) Errors in telegrams, in some instances causing financial loss.

(14) Non-delivery of telegrams.

(15) Delays and errors in press messages. A suggestion was made that precedence should be given to press messages for afternoon papers during certain hours of the day immediately preceding publication.

(16) Inter-State press rates should be reduced, particularly in connexion with Federal news,



(17) Cheap facilities for telegraphic chess matches should be continued.

(18) Refusal of Department to deliver telegrams addressed to passengers on mail boats not moored at wharfs.

(19) Delay in providing telephone facilities in city and country.

(20) More telephone facilities to country press.

(21) Country lines interrupted undergrowth.

(22) Cheap long-distance telephones in country districts.

(23) Uncoveredipublic telephones at private shops. Public telephones should be installed only at post-offices, railway stations, and wharfs.

Of!lcia.l rebutal. 1066. During the course of this investigation, inquiry was made as to the causes generally of complaints. Leading officials stated that there are very few complaints which can be substantiated, beyond s uch as are inseparable from a large concern like the Postal Department, namely, delays and errors in delays and mistakes in delivering

correspondence; that such delays were occasioned through, at times, insuffi­ ciency of staff and want of funds to provide sufficient lines ; that delay in providing certain facilities was also owing to want of funds ; and that many errors in telegraph messages were the result of bad copy.

1067. Your Commissioners endeavoured to obtain statistical infor­ mation as to the number of missing postal articles, and errors made in connexion with ·telegrams throughout the Commonwealth, and submit the following table:-

I!@) .Approximate

INwnber of Number of Telegraphic

State, Years. .Articles_]dissing. Articles Errors.


New South Wales .. (No records kept.)

Victoria .. 1907 7,474 2,490}

1908 8,027 2,675 No separate

1909 8,151 2,717 record kept

(to 26th August) 1910 5,663 1,888

Queensland 1907 1,800 998 1,350

1908 1,974 1,045 1,750

1909 2,134 1,161 . 1,400

South Australia .. 1907 1,306

1908 1,227 No record No record

1909 1,362

Western Australia .. 1907 2,632 1,801

1908 2,508 1,636 No record

1909 2,604 1,746

Tasmania 1907 1,237 No record

1908 1,350 No record

1909 1,309 407

1068. It was stated by the Telegraph Manager in Victoria that for the year ending May, 1909, the average was one error in 18,380 messages. In South Australia the Deputy Postmaster-General stated that only one letter in every 33,000 is unaccounted for. It was generally contended that carelessness of more than half the complaints regarding missing letters. are caused by the pablic. carelessness of the public, either in not fully addressing their letters, or in not

correctly posting same. It was stated by a leading official that the practice · of the Department was to record complaints in a special register, not but this witness considered that it would be advantageous to

sectwruze same.


1069. Your Commissioners have dealt under the various sections of this Report with the main causes of public complaints, and have made recom­ mendations as to. an improved system of management ; the supply of sufficient funds ; an adequate permanent staff ; efficient organization,

and suitable accommodation. If these recommendations are adopted, · they will, in the opinion of your Commissioners, place the Department in a better position to effectively provide for public requirements, and reduce complaints to· a minimum.

1070. As to the few local complaints upon which distinct recom­ mendations have not been made, your Commissioners desire to state that they were unable to visit the districts concerned, but recommend that the Department should make prompt inquiry into these complaints.

1071. Your Commissioners consider that the number and magnitude of the complaints received indicate the existence of strong dissatis­ faction among the public , with the Postal, Telephone, and Telegraph services. Your Commissioners are of the opinion that the bulk of the com­ plaints made were entirely justifiable, and are convinced that to obtain an

efficient service it is essential that improved methods of Management, Finance, and Organization be promptly adopted.

We have the honour to be, Your Excellency's most obedient Servants, WILLIAM H. WILKS, Chairman. HUGH DE LARGIE.

Parliame.nt House, Melbourne, 3oth September, 1910.



1072. We dissent from the recommendation of our colleagues on the question of restricting the employment of female officers to positions as monitors, telephonists, and typists. ·

1073. Satisfactory evidence· was given to the effect that women are capable of performing the duties of postmistresses and telegraphists. Com­ plaints were made by the representatives of the Victorian Women's Post and Telegraph Association that women in the Department are unfairly treated, inasmuch as they are not given an opportunity to secure promotion by the

same means as men ; that women are doing high class work, and are receiving .less salary for their services than men; that women are being gradually worked out of the better-paid positions in the Department; and that females are not given an equal opportunity to enter the Department with males.

i074. If these allegations be true, they constitute a serious violation of the principles of the Commonwealth Public Service Act. To close the avenues of employment in the Commonwealth Service against . women, especially those who are obliged to seek their own living, is a great injustice.

This practice is opposed to the intention of the Commonwealth Parliament, and to the spirit and letter of the Act.

1075. We recommend that femals be given equal opportunity to enter the Clerical Division of the Department, and that the just principle of equal pay to women doing equal work with men be put into practice.

M. B. SYNAN, Secretary.

Parliament House, Melbourne, 30th September, 1910.


How complaints are met, by previous recommeildations.

Complaints not dealt with.

Complaints justifiable.


The following is a summary of the more important recommenqations . made in this Report :- ·



That a Board of Management, consisting of three I ,irecto:rs, .. -General Manager (Chairman), a Postal Director, and a Tele­ graph and Telephone Director, be appointed to control the Department, including staff and works. (See paragraphs 55-60.)

(2) That a Chief Accountant be appointed. (See paragraphs 23 a:nd 222.) .

( 3) That a Chief Inspector be appointed. (See paragraphs 64 ( 8) and 221.)

( 4) That the designation " Deputy Postmaster-General" be to "State Postmaster." (See paragraph 33.)

( 5) That the delegated powers of State Postmasters be increased. (See paragraphs 36 and 63.)

( 6) That State Postmasters be appointed from the ranks of the Inspectors. (See paragraph 62.)

(7) That the Chief Electrical E ngj_neer be sent on periodical visits of inspection to foreign countries. (See paragraphs 17 and 2:10-2.) .


( l)) That an effecthe and uniform system of keeping expenditure accounts be instituted. (See paragraphs 66-7:2 and 310-11.)

(9) That an annual balance-sheet be issued. (See paragraphs 312-15.)

(10) That the Postal, Telegraphic, and Telephonic Services be placed _on a self-supporting basis. (See para,graphs 86-7.)

( 11) That the deticit be written off. (See paragraph 91.)

(12) That the Estimates of Expenditure be not subject to reduction at the will of the Treasurer. (See paragraphs and

( 13) That a capital account of £2,000,000 is necessary. (See para· · graphs 127-9.)

( 14) That expenditure on telegraph and t elephone repairs, instru­ ments, materials, and maintenance be kept separate. · (See paragraph 134.)

(15) That a Departmental Fire Insurance Fund be established. · (See paragraph 13.).)

(16) That a Materials Purchase or Suspense Account be established; that six to nine months reserYe stocksbe held ; that a buying agent be appointed to purchase construction material at centres of production. (See paragraphs 103-6.)

( 17) That postage rates within the States be made uniform at 1d. ' pert oz. wh en the telegraph and telephone services are placed on a self-supporting basis. (See paragraphs

(18) That the parcel and packet post be atna1gamated. (See paragraphs 150 and 368.)


(19) That payment of bulk postage by stamps be abolished. (See paragraph 147.)

(20) That the parcel post he extended to suburban districts. (See paragraph 152,)

_ ( 21) That the insurance provisions in connexion with parcels be extended. (See paragraph l !j 3.) ·

(22) That postage stamps be printed at a Commonwealth centre. (See paragraph 155.)

(23) That a uniform Commonwealth stamp be .issued. (See paragraphs 155-6.)

04) That automatic stamping machines be introduced. (See paragraphs 157.-9.)

(25) That additional words in telegrams be charged at a lower rate than the first sixteen words. (See paragraphs 17 0-1.)

( 26) That rates for code and cipher telegrams be increased. (See paragraph 173.)

(27) That telegrams be paid for in cash instead of by stamps. (See paragraph 17 4.) .

( 28) That the cable service be nationalized. (See paragraphs 175-183.)

( 29) _ T .hat the 2 telephone flat rate be abolished. (See paragraph 194.)

(30) That the telephone flat rate " Purchase " system in New South Wales be abolished. (See paragraph 195.)

(31) That free telephone calls he abolished, and a measured service introduced. (See paragraph 197.)

(32) That the telephone rates be as follows :.:......Annual rental, £3 5s. per annum ; calls, 5s. per 100 for first 500 ; above 500 up to 1,!)00, 4s. per 100 ; over 1,500 3s. per 100 per half-year respectively. (See paragraph 211.) .

( 33) That telephone trunk line charges be reviewed. (See paragraph 212.)



That the Central Executive office be staffed experienced officers. (See paragraph 219.) with highly

( 35) That the Central Executive be provided with a Statistical Branch. (See· paragraph 223.)

(36) That the Chief Electrical Engineer be relieved of minor duties. (See paragraphs 21 and 225.)

(37) That instructions to office1·s be revised, codified, and issued in: pamphlet form. (See paragraph 233.)

Central Executive.

( 38) That Deputy Postmasters-General be relieved from detail Deputy clerical work. (See paragraphs 236-7.)

( 39) That · Deputy Postmasters-General make visits of inspection. (See paragraph 238.)


Accounts Branch.

Mail Branch.

Electrical Engineers' Branch.

Telephone Branch.


( 40) That inspection be made more effective. (See paragraph :108.)

( 41) That the Money Order Account he used as a medium for . payment awl collection o( country accounts. (See paragraph 321.)

( 4 2) That countrv and suburban monev order offices be closed at noon on (See paragr;tph

( 4ii) That the system of telegraphic checks be simplified. (See paragraph 323.)

( 44) That mail depots he established acljacent to principal railway stations. (See pan1graphs 1:-H-3.)

( 4;)) That English inward mails be sorted on mail steamers, and Inter-State mniJs on trains. (See paragraph 334.)

( 4 6) That motor wag-gons be used in the transport of mail matter. (See paragraphs 337-8.)

( 47) That additional letter deliveries be established. (See paragraph .339.)

( 48) That contracts for mail services be extended. (See paragraphs 341-4.)

( 4 9) That the methods of dealing with unclaimed mail matter be improved. (See paragraphs 348-351.)

(50) That the method ·of treating lJfiSle restante mail matter be improved. (See paragraphs 354-9.)

(51) That inqi1iry fee for missing articles be abolished. (See para­ graph :162.)

(52) That lead seals and reversible labels be adopted for mail bags. (See paragraphs 36.3-4.)

(53) That liability of the Department in connexiou with

compensation for losses be extended. (See paragraphs :370-1.)

(54) That night sorting be introduced in large suburban offices . . (See paragraph 377.)

(r>5) That Electrical Engineers be relie\·ed of non-technical duties. (See paragraphs 441-442.)

(56) That staff of Electrical Engineers' Branches be placed on an adequate basis without delay. (See paragraph 452.)

(57) That a developmental staff be attached to the Chief Electrical Engineer's Branch. (See paragraph 455.)

· (58) That construction and maintenance work be executed as far as possible by departmental staffs. (See paragraph 458.)

(59) That permanent maintenance parties be increased. (See para­ graph 462.)

( 60) That iron telegraph poles be more extensivelv used in country districts. (See paragraph 463.) "

(61) That pole dressing be executed by tradesmen at stal1dard rates of wages. (See paragraph 4'i 2.)

(62) That telepho!1e managers be appointed to all the metropolitan exchanges. (See paragraph 479.)


(63) That telephone traffic be placed under the control of telephone managers. (See paragraph ,480.)

(64) That telephone managers be required to possess technical knowledge. (See paragraphs 481-3.) ·

( 65) That provision be made at all telephone exchanges to answer nightealls. (See paragraphs 491-4.) · '

(G6) That the inspection of telephones be made adequate. (See paragraphs 495-6.)

(67) That the development of the automatic telephone system be studied. (See paragraphs 497-.'l02-.) . .

(68) That undergrounding and metallic circuits large networks be completed.


in connexion with (See paragraphs

(69) That in large telephone there be one supervisor to every eight telephonists. (See paragraphs b25 and 558.)

(70) That the construction of public telephone cabinets be improved, paragraph 550.)


(71) That Wheatstone working be adopted on all telegraph lines Telegraph Branch where volume of business is sufficient. (See paragraphs 566-571.)

(72) That the of telegraph lines be considered.

(See paragraph 508.)

(70) That the use of the condenser telephone system be discontinued where it seriously impairs telegraphic working. (See para­ graphs 577-9;)

(7 4) That typewriting machines l>e supplied by the Department for the Telegraph Branch, in lieu of hiring same. (See para­ graph 611.)

( 7 5) That officers with experience in dealing with stores and Stores Branch. material be appointed Controllers of Stores. (See paragraph 655.)

( 76) That stores be more effectively checked. (See paragraphs . 656-662.)

(77) That method of dealing with obsolete stores be simplified. (See paragraph 634.)

(78) That the issue of stores be decentralized. (See paragraph 665.)

(79) That materials be standardized. (See paragraph 666.)

(80) That a Commonwealth factorv be established. (See para-graphs 509 and 667.) · .;

( 81) That the form of official correspondence be simplified, mid the correspondence use of the card index extended. (See paragraphs 67R-4.) and Records.

( 8i) That officers be systematically trained by the Department. Trainfllg. (See paragraphs 468, 510, 511, and 691-706.)

(83) That labour-saving appliances be introduced. (See paragraph 710.)

( 84) That the work of Divisional Returning Officers be not imposed on postal officials. (See duties.



Stall' matters




That postal officials be not employed to pay old-age pensions in large centres. (See paragraph 720.)

That temporary employment be restricted to emergency work. paragraphs 7i2-9.)

( 87) That the employment of exempt officers be restricted as much as possible to unofficial offiees (See paragraphs 730-6.)

(88) That the number of examinations in the General Division be reduced; that examination for clerks to quali(y for minimum wage be abolished; that the telegraphists' promotion consist of three tests of one hour each; and that officers m General Division be made eligible for Clerical positions on passing examination for appointment as telegraphist. (See paragraphs 737-759.) ·

( 89) That promotion be based on merit alone. (See paragraphs 764-780)

( 90) That the management of the Department be provided with effective machinery to deal with incompetent officers. (See paragraph 786.)

( 91) That the appointment of acting officers be abolished. (See paragraph 792.)

That service in remote districts (except when officials desire to

remain longer) should not exceed five years. (See paragraph 802.)

( 93) That Association secretaries not employed in the Department receive departmental recognition. (See paragraph bl3.)

That monetary compensation be granted for approved sug­

gestions for the improvement of the sel'Vice. (See paragraphs 814-9.)

( 95) Ti1at the public be invited to offer suggestions for the improve­ ment of the services, and a record hook be kept at each office for that purpose. (See paragraph 820.)

(96) That leave in lieu of overtime be. abolished, and the overtime · paid for. (See paragraph 824.)

(97) That six days be added to officers' annual leave in lieu of public holidays worked. (See paragraphs 825-9 .. )

(98) That Sunday work be limited (see paragraph 833); that Christ­ mas Day and Good Friday be treated officially as Sundays. (See paragraph 832.)

(99) That overtime be abolished except in special instances (see paragraphs 834-862); and that overtime now due be paid for. (See paragraph 863.)

( 100) That tea money be abolished and extra service be[ paid for. (See paragraphs 864-7.) -

(101) That time allowed for me:ils be uniform and of 45 minutes' duration. paragraphs 868-70.)

(102) That departmental fines be abolished and that the management be empowered to the status of officers whose· conduct is unsatisfactory. (See paragraphs 871-883.)


( 103) That the procedure of Boards of Inquiry be simplified. (See paragraphs 884-894.)

( 104) That the right of appeal be preserved to officers, and a depart­ mental arbitrator appointed to deal with appeals. (See para­ graphs 896-908.)

( 105.) That sufficient permanent relieving staff be appointed. (See paragraphs 909-912.)

(106) That absence on furlough be not allowed to interfere with officers' right to promotion ; and that furlough be not neces­ sarily forfeited owing to reduction in status. (See paragraphs .

(107) That travelling allowances be not granted on a class basis. (See paragraphs 925-8.)

(I 08) That all officers travelling on· duty in tropical districts be allowed first-class fiues. (See paragraphs 929-932.)

( 109) That linemen's travelling allowances be increased. (See paragraph 934.)

(110) That district allowances be based on the approximate additional cost of living. (See paragraphs 935-940.)

(111) That forage allowances be based on the market price of fodder. (See paragraphs 941-3.)

(112) Tha,t fidelity guarantee premium be reduced, and that the fund be handed over to the officers to administer. (See paragraphs 949-52.)

(113) l hat a superannuation fund be established on an actuarial basis. (See paragraph 954.)

( 114) That officers be compelled to liquidate the just claims of their creditors. (See paragraph 958.)

193 \ , '

( 115) That all staff matters be placed in charge of Staff Committees. stat! Committee. (See paragraphs 42, 64 (8) and (9), 283, 391, 592, 603, 729, 736, 756, 780, 787, 8l9, 882, 883, 892-894, 901, 940.)

(116) That officers performing work of a higher grade be paid the Salaries, salary attached to such higher grade if so employed for three houn, &c. months or more. (See paragraph 251.)

(117) That the maximum salary of the .1th Class, Clerical Division, Clerical Division. be raised to £200 per annum. (See paragraph

(118) That sorters' grades be abolished. (See paragraphs 391 and Sorters. 397.)

(119) That salaries of sorters be £150 to £190, despatching officers £200, and mail officers £210 to £240 per annum. (See paragraphs 385-6.)

(120) That entrance tests for sorters be altered. (See paragraph 392.)

(121) That officers in charge of mail vans be of the rank of despatch· ing officer. (See paragraph 399.)

(122) That sorters' hours be reduced. (See paragraph 405.)

( 123) That letter carriers and porters' loads be made reasonable. Letter Carriers. (See paragraphs 407 and 434.) F,8564. N

Gwoms and Mail Drivers . •


Instrument :Fitters.

Telephone Supervisors.




(124) That the maximum salary of letter carriers (£150 per annu.m) be attainable in nine years after reaching the minimum wage. (See paragraph 418.) ·

(12!>) That letter carriers after reaching 21 years of age be provided with opportunities of qualifying for any vacancies in the sorting branr-h. (See paragraph 422.)

( 126) That letter carriers' hours -he 44 per week. (See paragraph 425.)

(127) That broken shifts be limited. (See paragraphs t05 and 425.)

(128) That letter carriers' beats he frequently reviewed. (See para­ graph 426.)

(129) That inspectors of letter carriers be appointed. (See paragraph 428.)

( 130) That salaries of mail drivers and grooms in charge be increased. (See paragraphs 431-433 .) ·

(131) That country linemen be afforded opportunities of transfer to city parties. (See paragraph 467.) .

(132) That linemen be provided with water-proof clothing. (See paragraph 470.)

(133) Tbat linemen's grades be abolished, and their salaries increased as follows :-Linemen, £120 to £156 ; Jine foremen, £168 to £192; line inspectors, £200 to £350 per annum. (See paragraphs 4 73-7.)






That the maximum salary of instrument fitters be increased to £160 ; that the salaries of senior instrument fitters be from £170 to £190 ; and foremen fitters £200 to £250 per annum. (See paragraph 521.)

That telephone supervisors be designated "traffic supervisors " and that monitors be designated "junior supervisors." paragraphs 522-6)

That salaries of junior supervisors be £120 to £156, and traffic supervisors £162 to £180 per annum. (See paragraph !)29.)

That the hours of supervisors be made uniform, and that broken shifts be miuimis<:'d. (See paragraph 5;13.)

That a stricter medical examination be made of candidates for positions as telephonists, and that a periodical examination be provided. (See paragraph .536.)

(139) That telephonists' loads be made uniform. (See paragraph 540.)

( 140) That telephonists' hours be reduced and made uniform. (See paragraphs fi59 to 5ti5.) .

(141) That proportional grading of telegraphists be abolished. (See paragraphs b80-7.)

That the ordinary salaries of telegraphists .be from £120 to

£210 per annum. (See paragraphs .586-592.)

( 143) That the hours of telegraphists be 6 per day at staff offices, and 6f hours per day at other offices. (See paragraphs 593-601.)


(144) That the age of admissiou of telegraph messengers he raised Telegraph to 15 years, and the provision for compulsory retirement Messengers. abolished. (See paragraphs 612-6.)

( 145) That outdoor supervisors of telegraph messengers be appointed. (See paragraph 618.)

(146) That the number of grades of post-offi ces be reduced. (See Post Offices. paragraphs 622-:JO.)

(147) That the hours of postmasters should not exceed 8 per day on average working. c·· ee paragraphs 631-3.)

(148) That rent for post-office quarters he abolished. ( See parag raphs 635-640. )

(149) That the rernuneration of employes at reeeiving and allowan ce offices be review ed. (Sec panigrnph C4 7.)

(150) That semi-official offices he graded on volume of business. (See paragraph C5:Z.)

( 151) That the minimum salary of persons in charge of semi-official offices be £110 per annum. (SeP. paragraph 65:Z.)

( 152) That the designation "clerical assistant " be abolished. (S ee Assistants. paragraph 678.)

( 153) That the maximum salary of Ge iJ eml Division assistants l:.e £150. (See paragraph 686.)

( 154) That postal assistants performing semi -clerical work he eligible for cleri cal positions on passing examination for appointment as telegraphist. (See paragraph


( 155) That a portion, if not the whole, of the block on which the General Post Office, Sydney, is now situate be or that the Belmore Markets site he considered as a site for a central mail dep6t. (See paragraphs 959-973.)

( 156) That a new Telephone Exchange be erected nt Manly. (See paragraph 977.)

(157) That structural alterations and fire-escapes are necessary to provide complete exits from the General Post Office building , Sydney. (See paragraph 1013.)

(158) That the General Post Office, Melbourne, be remodelled. (See paragraphs 982-994.)

(159) That th11 Melbourne Telephone Exchange be expeditiously transferred to the new building. (See paragraph 995.)

(160) That the Department erects its own suburban post-offices. (See paragraphs 990-6,)

(161) Thn.t new post-offi ces be erected at South Melbourne B.nd North Melbourne. (See paragraphs 990-2.)

(162) That postal fa cilities be provided in close proximity to the wharfs at Port Melbourne. (See paragraph 991.)

(163) That a fire-proof exchange building be erected at Brisbane. (Set: paragraph 999.) F.8564. 0


/ .


(164) That the General Post Office, Adelaide, be remodelled. (See paragraph 1001.)

( 165) Tbat a new General Post Office be erected at Perth, adjacent to the railway station. (See paragraphs 1006-7.)

(166) That telephone exchange buildings be constructed of fire-proof material. (See paragraph 1015.)

( 16 7) That in the erection of post-offices more attention be given to the suitabiiity of the internal design. (See paragraphs


( lti8) That hygienic conditions be enforced. (See paragraphs 537, 1022-3.)

(169) That medical supervision be provided at principal offices. (See paragraph 1024.)


(170) That country districts be treated more liberally in regard to posta] facilities: (See paragraphs 1025-1041.)

( 171) That non-paying mail services be governed by the aggregate cost of the country services throughout the Commonwealth. (See paragraph 1040.)

( 172) That all reasonable requests for telephone and telegraph facilities in country districts be granted. (See paragraph 1055.)

(17 3) That Government telephone lines be erected in country districts where a sufficient number of subscribers is available to be connected thereto. (See paragraph 1056.)

(174) That guarantee charges be reduced. (See paragraph 1057.)


( 17 5) The majority recommend that female employment be limited (see paragraphs 644, 688-690); the minority 1·ecommend that female employment be not limited (see paragraphs 1072-5).





(a) STATEMENT showing Post, Telegraph and Telephone Revenue and Expenditure, including Interest on Capital and Sinking Fund; also showing the Loss incurred for period 1st March to 30th June, 1901, and subsequent financial years respectively to the 30th June, 1909.


1901 (4 months) ..

1901-2 .. ..

1902-3 .. ..

1903-4 .. ..

1904-5 .. ..

1905-6 .. ..

1906-7 .. ..

1907-8 .. ..

1908-9 .. ...



.. 809,840

. . 2,430,645

.. 2,433,147

.. 2,509,645

. . 2,567,837

.. 2,638,089

. . 2,690,362

.. 2,918,835

.. 3,069,868

lst March, 1901 1st July, 1901 lst July, llio2 1st July, 1903

1st July, 1904 1st July, 1905 lst July, 1906 1st July, 1907 lst July, 1908

Interest Sinking Fund,

at 3i per cent. on Capital. 20 years at 3i per cent.

£ £

72,962 73,714

219,536 221,144

222,561 222,458

228,222 227,256

233,816 233,897

238,688 238,559

246,078 243,742

258,376 253,492

275,331 268,591




956,516 2,871,325 2,878,166 2,965,123 3,035,550 3,115,336

3,430,703 3,613,790


6,253,888 6,253,888 6,291,036 6,426,735

6,614,544 6,746,373 6,892,948 7,168,685 . . 7,595,691

Revenue. LoBS.

£ £

740,664 215,852

2,372,861 498,464

2,404,730 473,436

2,510,203 454,920

2,632,551 402,999

2,824,348 290,988

3,128,574 51,608

3,300,096 130,607

3,409,426 204,364

(b) STATEMENT showing Post, Telegraph and Telephmie Revenue and Expenditure, including Interest on Capital, and Depreciation (inclusive of sites); also showing the loss incurred fo't period ,1 st March to 30th June, 1901, and subsequent financial years respectively to the 30th June, 1909.


Year. Expenditure. at 3i J:.r cent. Depreciation. Total Revenue. Loes.

on pita!.

£ £ £ £ £ £

1901 (4 months) .. .. 809,840 72,962 Nil 882,802 740,664 142,138

1901-2 .. . .. .. 2,430,645 219,536 312,694 2,962,875 2,372,861 590,014

1902-3 .. .. . . 2,433,147 211,616 298,917 2,943,680 2,404,730 538,950

1903-4 .. .. . . 2,509,645 206,816 290,756 3,007,217 2,510,203 497,014

1904-5 .. .. . . 2,567,837 202,233 285,608 3,055,678 2,632,551 423,127

1905-6 .. .. . . 2,638,089 197,108 277,920 3,113,117 2,824,348 288,769

1906-7 .. .. .. 2,690,362 194,772 271,353 3,156,487 3,128,574 27,913

1907-8 .. .. . . 2,918,835 197,572 271,572 3,387,979 3,300,096 87,883

1908-9 .. .. .. 3,069,868 I 205,022 279,344 3,554,234 3,409,426 144,808 I 0 z


APPENDIX I.-continued.

(c) STATEMENT showing Post, Telegraph and Telephone Revenue and Expenditure, including Interest on Capital and Depreciation (exclusive of sites); also showing the loss incurred for period 1st March to 30th June, 1901, and subsequent financial years respectively to the 30th June, 1909.


In teres\ at 3r per cent. Depreciation

Year. Expenditure. on Capital, on Capital, Total Debit. Revenue. Loss. excluding including Sites. Sites. £ £ £ £ £ £

1901 (4 mo 1901-2 1902-3 1903-4 1904-5 1905-6 1906-7

nths) ..



. .










.. 809,840 72,962

. . 2,430,645 219,536

. . 2,433,147 2ll,616

. . 2,509,645 206,816

.. 2,567,837 202,233

.. 2,638,089 197,108

.. 2,690,362 19<1,772

Nil 882,802 740,664 142,138

252,103 2,902,284 2,372,861 529,423

241,356 2,886,119 2,404,730 481,389

236,073 2,952,534 2,510,203 4<12,331

233,660 3,003,730 2,632,551 371,179

228,568 3,063,765 2,824,348 239,417

224,468 3,109,602 3,128,57<1 18,972

1907- 8 1908-!l




.. .. .. 2,918,835 197,572 227,032 3,3<13,439 3,300,096 43,343

.. .. .. I 3,069,868 205,022 237,031 3,511,921 3,409,426 102,495




STATEMENT re Estimates o£ Expenditure, Years 1901-2 to l\)'08-9 Inclusive.

(Return furnished by Postmaster-Generai''s Department.)

i I I 1


I Dates upon l/ · I i Draft ' which i Estimates As Revised! As. sub- Reduc- 'ReciM- I Appro' j Total of ·. as b C t 1 mitted t· / I' submitted y en ra ; by 1 Ions tions Total priation Amounts Total Amount b Office and 1 T Due to made at / 'IS per I Subse- Ultimate ! E I Y, subin . itted ' reasury Central instance Reduc· CcllO.illn B qilently Appro- ; xpen- Unex- D.P.M. sG. to ' to. I Office of I tions. hereof I granted by priatlon. j ture. pended. 1 (Includes Treasury I Parlia- Revision Treasury. Assented Treasilry. 1 1 Central · I ment. I · to by Par· I 1 Office.) liaru:ent. ______ ,! __ I ---------------1---1---0rdinary Votes- / £ £ £ £ £ £ I £ £ 1901-2 . . I *2,511,4411 *2,436,4411 *2,431,4411 II II 80,000 37,240 2,468,6811 2,395,689 72,992 1902-3 .. ! t2,509,245 ) 1 1 t2,379,709 II 1 11 129,536 10.10.02 54,769 2,434,478 2,380,713 53,765 1903-4 .. 1 2,567,270 2,6oo,ao1l 2,460,2991 66,9691 4o,oo2 106,971 22.1o.os 84,117 2,544,416/ 2,457,857 s6,559 1904-5 .. , 2,596, 7151 2,558,266 2,533,539 II 11 63,176 15 .12. 04 32,432 2,565,971 2,513,234 52,737 1905-6 .. I 2,659,2281 2,613,550. 2,578,8381 11 11 80,390 30.1'1..05 56,.262 2,635,100. 2,577,796 57,304 1906-7 i 2 681 271 2 646 842' 2 646 201 II 11 35,070 12.10.06 · 36,370 2,682,5711 2,623,292 59,279 1907-s • :: 1 2;911;893 2;857;6951• 2;8o5;277/ 54,198/ 52,418 106,616 16 .5.08 117,375 2,922,652 2,859,410 63,242 1908- 9 . . 3,196,189· II 2,955,917 II 240,272 240,272 14. 12.08 72,589 §3,028,5061 2,984,488 44,018 ,--.-. --:--.-. . . . . 489,896 . New Works, Tele- ------------ i I j I' . I I 1901-2 .. ,. 413,'588' 11 32,729 il . 11 380,859 . . 32,729 32,729 1902-3 .. 332,8461 il 197,06611 II I 11 135,780 10.10.02 . . 197,066 97,312 99,754 1903-4 322,721 211,112 194,812 111 ;609 16,300 127,909 22.10 . 03 . . 194,812 131,332 63,480 1904-5 . . 283,947 1 174,902! 155,0001 109,045 1 19,902 128,947 25 .. 11.04 4,610 159,610 91,435 68,175 1905-6 . . . 200,522· 149,150 30,0701 21,302 51 ,372 28.9.05 .. 149,1501 118,814 35,336 1906- 7 . . 244,870i 221,8221 217,7221 I! I II 27,148 7 . 9. 06 12,873 230,595 221,7>10 1!,856 1907-8 .. 558,1551 425,567( 300,000 132,588 125,567 258,155 8.10.07 65,009 365,009/ 356,743 8,266 1908-9 . . - __ 11 _ _ 1 _ 383,399 880 Totals- 1901-2 1902-3 1903-4 1904-5 1905-6 . 1906-7 190·7- 8 1908-9 I ' I . 1 __ •• _ 1 __ :_: _ _/_:_: __ / •• 1 . . .. __ :_: __ • . ! *2,925,029; II I *2,464,1701 II / II 460,859 . . 37,240 2,501,4101 2,428,418 72,992 .. i t2,842,091; 'I I t2,576,775 II : ii 265,316 . . 54,769 2,631,544 2,478,025 153,519 .. ' 2,889,99! : 2,711,4131 2,655,111 178,5781 56,302 234,880 . . I 84,117 2,739,2281 2,589,189 150,039 . . 2,880,662: 2,733,168i 2,688,5391 !I : 1\ 192,123 . . 37,042 2,725,581, 2,604,669 120,912 . . . 2,859, 750! 2, 784,002: 2, 727,9881 ,1 1 11 I II 131,762 . . I 56,262 2, 784,250, 2,691,610 92,640 . . 2,926,141 , 2,868,164, 2,863,923/ n 62,218 . . 19,243 2,918,1661 2,845,032 68,134 . . 3,470,048 3,283,262! 3,105,277 186,7861 177,985 364 771 . . I 182,384 3,287,6611 3,216,153 71,508 •. __ __!! __ __ ; 69o,zoo 59o:2oo . . ! _ . . . . . . I . . I . . i . . . . . . I . 601,785122,995,6251 22,220,983 774,642 • Including arrears to 30th June, 1901, ·£125,128. t Including arrears 1901-2, £37,056 . . . !ncluding for years 1906-7, 1907-8 ·and 1908-9, as regards ordinary votes, amount• added by Treasury after final submission by Central Oill.ce. §lnduding £:72,581! graiitld from Treasurer's Advance to be provided in Supplementary Estimates. 11 Not available. -


APPENDIX H.-continued.

RETURN furnished by Secretary, Commonwealth Treasury.


Draft E stimates (Original) a.s submitted to t he Treasurer. Estimates as submitted to P arliament.

1-Additional E stimates. Total E stimates submitted to Parliament.

Yoar. New I -----New -· ·

Ordinary Works, Total. Ordinary I Works, Total. Ordinary Works, I Total. Ordinary Works, Total.

Votes. &c .t Votes. &c.t Votes. &c .t Votes. &c.t

---------- -------- -----1-- 1-----___ _ ___ / ______ ---·-----

1901-2 1902-3 1903-4 . 1904-5 1905-6

1906-7 1907-8 1908-9


2,570,008 2,520,932 \ . 2,554,239

£1 £ £ 1£1£ ££ 1 £ 1 £ £ ! £

*32,729\ 2,602,737 2,464,1831 *32,729 2,496,912 4,498 i, 4,4981 2,468,681 1 ' *32,729! 2,501,410

t197,o66 z,n7,998 z ,379,7o9l t197,o6ol 2,576,775 54,769 I 54,7691 2,434,47 8 t197,o66i z,oal,s44

214,112 2,768,351 2,460,299 194,812 2,655,111 84,117 . . 84,117. 2,544,4161 194,812 2,730,22!!

2,544,770 2,612,380 2,665,615 2,829,0341 3,073,930

168,60. 0 2,71 3,370 2,533,5391 155,0001 2,688,53 9 32, 4321 4,6101 37,042 1 2,565,971 159,610 168,3oz 2,7so,6s2 2 ,578,838 149,ts o, z ,727,9s8 56,262 . . _ I 56,262 2,635 ,1oo 149, t 5o'

225,402 2,891,017 2,646,201 217,722'1 2,863,923 36,370'1 12,873! 49,2431 1

2, 682,571 230,59 5, 2,013 ,HIO

511,027 3,3,40,061 2,805,2771 300,000 3, 105,277 107,720 63,410! 171,130 2,912,997 363,410 1 3,2711, 407


550,393 3,624,323 2,955,917


3,312,057 I / 2,955,917 356, 140 1 3,312,057

I ' I I I

• The>e amount> were included in Estimates for 1902-3, tile e.>:penditur e having been cover ed by" l'reasurer 's Advance,"

t is the amount .nwmitted to Parlia.meqt in 1902-3 for the service of the year 1902-3.

t Under control of Postmaster-General's Department only.



15th April, }905 to 31st Decell)ber, l905.

1906. 1907. 1908. 1909. Total.

------- -------- -------- -------- ----,------ -------- £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ Bxpenditure (Sub&ldy). ; 86,&27 124,880 124,880 124,880 124,880 586,147 Receiy,ts- Est mated value of postage on mail matter despatched Amount of collections 23,000 37,700 41,800 45 ,400 48,500 196,400 from other Countries for conveyance of their mails pef Orient 24,427 34,990 39,200 75,600 75. aoo I 249,817 --- ------- Total Receipts _. . 47,427 72,690 81,000 121,0'00 124,100 I .. 446,217 £3,880 - --- - --- Approximate Loss £39,200 £52,190 £43,880 £780 £139,980 VANCOUVER. SERVICE. I Marcbto l _-- - - \ i i I I December, / 1902. 1903. 1904. · 1905. I 1906. I 1907. !. 1908 . I 1909. I Total. 1901. I I I Ex -- p-en-di-.t-ur_e_1 £ £ 1-£---£-_£_£ __ £_£_ (Subsldy).. 14,583' 17,500 21,742 23,864 25,015 26, 6271 26,627! 26,6271 26,627/ 209,212 I I E stimated / 1· 1!' / value ot postage on 1 I mail matter I I 1 I despatched 12,220 /2,660 2,660 2,760 2,680 13,760 1, 4,970 11 1· 7,950 · 7,220 '36,880 Amount of · collections I t I from other I I I ,: countries for conveyance · \ 1 of their mails/ I I I outward per j I I vessels ofl j 1 I Vanconver ! 58::;. [ ! line .. 1 150 . 447 • 1,450 ' 2,934 2,934 115,384 1--- Total Receipts . . _!,370j 3,3501 3,107[ 3,345 . . 4,130: 6,914! . . 8,010' Approximate I I i i Loss . . 1 £12,213, £14,150) . . £18,635! £20,519 £20,885! £19,71 3J £18,617' 10,884 .. £15,743 10,154\ . . 52,264 ---, £16,473 \ £156,948




State of New South Wales.

(Total number of officers affected, 1,032.)

STATEMENTS by Deputy Postmasters-General of Work Performed by Post and Telegraph Department for Other Departments.

Nature of Service.

For State Departments

Government Savings Bank .. Sale of Duty Stamps . .

Payment of Old-age Pensions Registrar Births, Deaths, and Marriages . . . .

Electoral Registrar . . . .

River Gauge Readings Warden's Clerk and Registrar ..

Fisheries Department Intelligence Department

Under Chtldren's Protection Act

1!01 Commonwealth Departments.

Electoral Registrar .. Assistant Returning .Officer . , Divisional Returning Officer ..

Meteorological Duties-Country Observer ..

Preparation and Distribu­ tion of Wind and

Weather Reports, Tele- I graph Branch, G.P.O . .. 'j Sale of Beer Excise Stamps .. Customs Border Work . . 1

By Accounts Branch, G.P.O., 1 on behalf of Department

Home Affairs, External

Affairs, Attorney-General, and Treasury • . . .

904 324 401

81 40 15


J 149 21 305

12 30 9


18,468 8,415 10,687


168,589 4,329 12,659

5,200 836 1,150

1,834 75 717


12,616 614 6,625

I H,OH I I ·I 8,498

974 380

.. I 1,603

88,629 287,749 I

£ ·- d.

3 0 0

6 0 0

9 0 0

Amount Paid for Perform­ ance of these Duties by the Departments concerned to- Value of

Officers' Salaries 1

on SalAry I

Basis. 1 D t t

(Per Annum.) I (Per Annum.)


£ 8 . d.

10,428 0 0

321 0 0 .

704 0 0

584 0 0

133 0 0

51 0 0

53 0 0

4 0 0

85 0 0

3 o ol

I 1,818 0 0: 550 0 0 1,788 0 0 845 0 0

857 0 0

81 0 0

17 0 0

116 0 0

£ •- d.

9,836 0 0

899 0 0

51 0 0

10 0 0

53 0 0

240 0 0

25 0 0

17,938 0 0 11,114 0 0

Direct. I

(Per Annum.)

£ '· d,

4 0 0

25 0 0

70 0 0

879 0 0

394. 0 0

546 0 0

12 0 0

1,980 0 0

£ a. d.

Issuing and Record­ ing Inspection

Tickets, J'enolan Caves. Pending

further arrange-ments, premil!88 and residence rent free.

0 f the hours worked, 50 per cent. are

performed outside ordinary office

hours, and for

which the officers receive payment direct from De­

partment of Home Affairs.

Total of the Proportion of the Departmental Officers' S&!Aries 17,938 0 0

Le8s Payment made by other Departments to this Department 11,114 0 0

Net Cost of Officers' Services ,. . 6,824 0 0 per annum.

(1) The total cost given is that of the time of the officers at the rate of salary paid to them.

The loss to the Department would not actually be this amount, as in a large number of cases the work is performed during the spare time available, and not occupied in the duties of this Department. details of which it would be impossible to ascertain without an extended personal investigation of each olllce.

(2) By the removal of the whole of duties from the Postmaster-General's Department, it would, no doubt, be possible to reduce the cla•silled status of a number of post-offices, with the officers attached thereto. and thus enable the employment of a greater number of General Division officers, and Clerical officers. As, however, •uch re-classification would be entirely within the pro,;nce of the Public Service Commissioner, it. is not pos.•ibla for 'hl• pep&r1;ment to estimate what the reduc;ion in cost would be .


APPENDIX: IV.-continued.



Duty. of Total Number of Hours Worked during

Officers the Year by Officers.

State Electoral Registrar .. Payment of Old-age Pensions Registrar of B'l.rths and Deaths Treasury Officer ..

Observatory Work Lands Office Work Mining Registrar .. Customs Officers ..

Commonwealth Electoral Registrar Divisional Returning Officer



161 11 56 64 22



151 24

939 hours per annum 10,016 939 27,544

4,382 6,573 52 939 11,268 10,955

(A large proportion of time employed by these officers after office hours in performance of Electoral Work for tho Commonwealth is not computed or included in the above.)




(1} There were 119 post-offices in this State at which Savings Bank business was transacted. 193 officers spent some of their time on this work. (2) Estimated to total 55,172 hours for the year. The cost of conducting Savings Bank business in 1907 is estimated at £4,460 18s. Revenue, £6,305 16s. 1d.


Duty stamps were sold at 149 official and semi-official offices. The. revenue derived was £329 l5s. 7d. It is impossible to state the number of officers who sold duty stamps, the time occupied, or the cost of conducting the business.


G. Whitney, Line Repairer-in-Charge, Eaglesburg.-District Registrar of Births, &c., 1 hour per day. Work performed in office hours, for which officer received approximately £24 per annum. H. W. Robinson, Line Repairer-in-Charge, Mein---Assistari.t Mining R egistrar, l hour per day. Work performed in office hours, for which Department received £10 per annum.

R. Scott, Postmaster, .Mount Perry.-Assistant Land Agent. Work performed in officer's own time, for which he received approximately £15 per annum; . discontinued January, 1909. R. Draney, Line Repairer-in-Charge, St. Lawrence.-Returning Officer. for Normanby, 16 hours per annum in own time, and 40 hours in office hours at election; Officer received £5 5s or £10 lOs. per annum if election contested.

W. J. Roebuck, Postmaster, Springsure.-District Registrar of Births, &c., 1 hour per week, partly in office hours and partly in own time. Officer received approximatel:r £8 per annum. J. Tighe, Postmaster , Taroom.-Assistant District Registrar of Births, &c., 6 hours per annum in office hours, for which officer received approximately £2 per annum.



T. McGahan, Clerical Assistant, Parcel Post Office, Brisbane.-Time wholly occupied as Acting Officer of Customs, salary £160 per annum. Department receives £80 per annum from Customs Department; loss £80 per annum. 0. Hoelscher, Postmaster, Port Douglas. Salary £235 per annum. Three-fourths of time occupied as Acting Officer of Customs and Excise, for which this Department receives £50 per annum from the Department of Trade and Customs.

If Customs duties were not attached to Postmaster 's, this office would probably be graded at £210 per annum. The Department therefore loses £25 per annum. Postal Officials acting as Customs Officers in connexion with Parcels Post Work.-Number employed, 18 and 2 above­ mention6d. It is impossible to state the. time occupied on this work. Loss to the Department (at 1 per cent. commission on amount collected, £12,087 2s. lld.) equals £120 per annum.


Work performed in passing vouchers for payment in Accounts Branch and paying same in Cash Branch. No payment received for this work. The time occupied in Accounts Branch equals-1 4th Class clerk, 1 day per month Money Order Branch and Postmasters-

! 4th Class Clerk, 1 month per annum Cash Branch-1 4th Class Clerk, 4 days per month 1 5th Class Clerk, 2 days per month

Total Loss to Depnrtment.

£8 per annum.


44 p




APPENDIX IV.-continued.


92 officers of this Department act as Divisional :Returning Officers or Electoral Registrars. Payment is made to the officers concerned by the Department of Home Affairs. The work is performed partly in office hours and .partly in officer's own t:lme. Time occupied or cost to the Department not known.


Taking observations and telegraphing results. Number of officers employed and time occupied not known. Loss to Department equals value of telegrams transmitted free (lst July, 1907, to 30th June, 1908), £2,487 17s. lld.


Work performed in passing vouchers for payment in Account Branch and paying same in Cash Branch. No payment receive::!. Time occupied equals t ime of one 4th Class Officer one day per month. Loss to Department, £10 per annum.


Valu e from 1st July, 1907, to 30th June, 1903, £4,195 lls. lld.

Births and Deaths Electoral Taxation Clerk of Court Marine Board Customs Crown Lands Licensing Bench Aborigines .. Meteorological Savings Bank

Other Departments.


Actual Time

Number of Engaged-

0 meers Affected. Number of Days of 11 Hours' Work.

70 205

141 411

143 5ll

14 6 65

23 132




200 416

216 2,501


These duties are per-

formed during office hours.

The loss or' cost to the Department is Nil, but a distinct gain of £4;840 per annum, made up from Savings Bank, £4,675 ; and other Departments, £165.


(1) Total Number of Officers affected in respect of each other Department '

(2) The actual time they are engaged upon these extra duties ..

(3) The lo B co3 t to the Dapartment which the fulfi lment of the3e duties involve


(1) Total Number of Officers affected in respect of each Departm ent.


I n connexion with sale of Revenue Stamps In connexion with State Savings Bank In capacity of Registrar of Births In capacity of Registrar of Mines In capacity of Sub-Collector of Revenue ..

In capacity of Meteorological Observer . . . .

In capacity of Collector of Salmon and Trout Licence3

Total number of individual officers engaged


For sale of Revenue Stamps . . . .

p'()r State Savings Bank (included in 324 above)


1,377 hours per week

£1,493 per

52 49 17 3






203 ' ,.,

APPENDIX IV . ....,.,())ntinued.

(2) The actual time they are engaged upon these b;tra duties.

53 Permanent Staff, average time per diem engaged as above, estimated three"fourths of a,n hour. 99 Non-official Postm,ast!'lrs, on Savings Bank duty and Revenue Stamp sales-Estimated average per diem, one-fourth of an hour. 225 other Non-official Postmasters, for Revenue Stamps only-Time occupied merely nominaL

(3) The loss or cost to the Department which the fulfilment of these duties

£ 8. d.

Salaries of 53 Permanent Staff, as above 8,252 0 0

P1•oportion of this to be debited to State, each officer working three-fourths of an hour per diem of 6! hours 99 Non-official Postmasters' total allowances Proportion of this to be debited to State, each Postmaster working one-fourth

of an hour per diem of 8 hours 225 other Non-official Postmasters for sale of Revenue Stamps, say

Total estimated cost to Department

Less amount received from State Government for performance of Savings Bank duties Less amount received from State· Government for ga]e of Revenue Stamps

Balance, profit

4,930 0 0

I,I81 2 4

116 I3 1

£ 8. d.

952 0 0

I 54 0 0

10 0 0

£I,ll6 0 0

1,297 15 5

£181 15 5

M:&Mo.-Payments by State Government for all work done as per paragraph I above, except sale of Revenue Stamps and Savings Bank, are made direct to the officers concerned.



RETURN showing the Number of Officers in each Branch of the Postmaster-General's Department, New South Wales, charged under Commonwealth Public Service Regulation No. 40, from the 22nd January, 1907 (the date on which the said Regulation came into operation), to the 14th April, 1909.

Inspection Branch­


Accounts Branch--Clerks

Mail Branch-Assist&nt Supervisors Clerks Mail Officers

Despatching Officers Sorters ..

Postal Assistants Letter Carriers Mail Boys Mail Drivers

Telegraph Branch­

Manager Telegraphists Clerks Postal Assistants

Clerical Assistants .Messengers






31 281 50 128

34 2

45 1

39 2


Electrical Engineer-(Head Office and others.) Testing Officers .. Clerks'

Postal Assistants Line Inspectors .. Fitters (Instrument) Line Foremen

Acting Foremen Batterymen Engine Drivers Linemen Supervisors Monitors


Indoor Messengers

Country and Branch Offices­ Postmasters Clerks Clerical Assistants Telegraphists Sorters ..

Mail Officers Postal Assistants Letter Carriers Mail Bovs

Messengers Relieving Officers Acting Assistants ..






75 3




54 3



65 3

33 62 28 2

148 58 2I

95 2


' .. 1,692




STATEMENT showing the amount of Overtime worked by Officers of the General Post Office, Sydney, during the years 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1908, such officers' hours being from 9 a.m., to 4.30 p.m:, less three-quarters of an hour for lunch, but they being required to work up to 5.30 tf necessary, without any right to overtime payment, or time in lieu for so doing; the regulatiOns also providing that overtime shall not be paid for until after 5.30 p.m., and unless the officers' services are required after 7 p.m. These Officers' hours on Saturdays are from· 9 a.m. till noon;

but time worked after 1 p.m. that day is, in practice, regarded as overtime.


(1) Time Worked on Ordinary Days in excess of Regulation/ (2) Proportion of s uch Time Worked between 4.30 and 6.30 _ Hours (exclusive of Time for Meals). . /_ p.m., Monday to Friday, or noon to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Total. 1908. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins.1 hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. hrs. mins 6,238 32 11,343 5 24,984 41 12,239 41 54,805 59 1 3,568 52 6,501 1 11,380 481 8,694 0 30,144 41 4,279 3 3,612 35 6,619 29 5,331 24 19,842 31 2,286 1 2,267 22 3,769 56 3,590 24 11,913 43 7,986 9 7,841 24 25,822 4 19,574 2 °61,223 39 1,833 20 2,519 33 5,959 41 7,780 27 18,093 1 297 0 1,487 0 2,341 0 3,219 0 7,344 0.1· 191 0 697 0 1,025 0 1,292 0 3,105 0 Nil Nil 1,660 40 1,055 33 3,215 82 6,516 0 12,447 46 1 1,178 44 881 23 2,074 13 2,783 20 6,917 40 127 3 404 20 1,323 10 764 18 2,618 51 85 23 281 15 432 18 305 3 1,058 59 Accounts . . . . Correspondence .. Electrical Engineers .. Inspection . . . . Mall .. .. Record . . . . St<>res . . . . Telegraph . . . . Total __ 28 11 8,963:: 16,::5 47 8,528 45 __ 5_97_3_4 .. 20,616 38 34,707 9) 80,521 43 56,173 10 192,018 40 I 9,H3 20 13,176 51 24,929 46 24,575 41 71,826 38 Branch. Accounts .. .. Electr cal Engineers .. lnsP.ection .. .. Mall .. .. Record .. .. Stores .. .. Telegraph .. .. .. (8) Proportion of such Time Worked In excess of 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Monday to !rlday, or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. 1905. 1906. 1907. 1908. Total. ----------------hrs. mill!J. hrs. mills. hrs. hrs. mins. hrs. mins. 2,669 40 4,842 4 13,603 53 3,345 41 24,661 18 1,993 2 1,345 13 2,849 33 1,741 0 7,928 48 503 22 1,032 1 8,341 45 5,531 47 15,408 55 106 0 890 0 1,316 0 1,927 0 4,239 0 Nil; 481 56 174 10 1,141 111 3,732 40 5,530 6 41 40 173 6 890 52 459 16 1,564 52 .. 11 13 42 34 14 44 68 31 ------ ------- ------ 5,795 40 8,467 46 28,185 66 16,952 7 59,401 29 Time Worked on Sundays or Public Holidays (as Overtime). hrs. mins. 1,004 20 40 34 6,865 47 507 0 .. 29 46 9 5 8,456 31 • Of this amount 27,721 hours 43 minutes was worked by General Division Officers whose hours of duty are other than 9 a.m. to 4.30 P .m., and ther efore these hours have not been included in columns (2) and (3). t Of this amount 33,069 hours 50 minutes was worked by officers of the Telegraph Branch, whose hours of duty a r e other than 9 a.m. 4.30 p.m., but who did not in any case work beyond the hours necessary to entitle them payment as overtime. APPENDIX VII. HouRs of Overtime Worked a.t Suburban and Country Offices in 1907, and to 30th June, 1908. New South Wales during 1905, 1906, I I I 11906. 1 1907. To 30th I To 30th Name of Office. 1905. 1906./1907. / June, -Regulation Hours. Name of Office. 1905. June, Regulation Holll'!l. -- __ 1_::_ 1909. 1,063 I 730 --·---- a.m . p .m. a£m. p .m . Adaminaby 1,100 1,100 1,452 1,040 9 to 8 Bowral .. 580 178 9 to 8 Aberdeen 442 1, 014 1,794 1,794 9 to 8 Berrigan Nil 380 734 313 9 to 8 Adamstown 351 468 490 233 9 to 6 Branxton Nil Nil 587 834 9 to 8 Adelong 375 456 679 237 9 to 8 Brewarrin8. 252 106 53 Nil 9 to 8 Albury . . 62 184 142 Nil 9 to 10 Broadwater 832 832 832 416 9 to 8 Balmaln 225 145 208 24 9 to 8 Bushgrove 1,558 1 1,396 1,450 455 9 a.m. to 8 p,m;; Bundarra 94 5 945 945 472 9 to 8 Saturday, 9 a.m. Balranald 160 260 200 52 9 to 8 to 1 p.m., 7 p.m. Batellllln's Bay 909 444 720 92 9 to 8 1,056/1,056 t o 8 p .m. Barmedman Nil 4M 6% 399 9 to 8 Burrowa 456 237 9 to 8 Bathurst 215 50 195 72 9 ? . • m. to mid- Byrock . . Nil I Nil 70 533 9 to 8 night ; Satur- Barr aM 1,424 1,420 1,420 710 9 to 8 day, 9 a.m. to Bega 1,080 1,706 1,865 526 9 to 8 10 p.m Blackheath 171 187 304 186 9 to 8 Bondi .. 316 316 316 160 9 to 8. Cessnock Nil Nil 308 286 9 to 6 Berry .. 1,938 1,042 651 325 9 to 8 Concord 336 336 336 168 9 to 6 Burraga 814 1,360 1,352 650 9 to 6 Curlewis 87 Nil 87 48 9 to 8 Bungendore 690 867 1,585' 839 9 to 8 Campbelltown 528 328 821 9 to 8 Botany . . 679 739 739 377 9 to 8 Camperdown 468 468 234 9 to 8 Booligal 858 883 1,212 650 9 to 8 Canterbury 294 ' 1!94 539 1 286 9 to 6 Boolaroo 14 23 23 26 9 to 8 Canowindra 1 1.m 535 815 9 to 8 Bombala Nil 1,526 28 36 9 to 8 Carcoar 1,6921 1,015 9 to 8 Bosgallilla 1,066 1,066 1,066 533 9 to 8 Carlton .. 1,00811,008 894 777 9 to 6 Blayney 644 647 634 279 9 to 8 Carrathool .. , Nil 72 88 38 9 to s Bcndemeer 183 288 417 208 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Casino . . 591 608 935 398 9 to 8 Saturday, 9 a.m. Cassilis .. 1,250 i 1,250 1,001 316 9 t o 8 to 1 p.m. Catherine Hill Bay 217 217 j 217 Nil 19 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Bingara 1,099 671 681 265 9 to 8 Chatsworth Island I Saturday, 9a.m Berrima 696 696 696 340 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; to 1 p.m. Wednesday, 9 1,368,1,338,1,286 634 9 to 8 1 p .m. Clarence Town •• 926 926 1, 333 8t5 9 to 8



'· , \

APPENDIX VII.-continued..

Hours of Overtime Worked at Suburbl;\n and Country Offices in New South Wales, ..

. . I To 30th • To 30th I N&me of Office . 190 5. 1906. 1907. J une, 1 Regulation Hours. tName of Office . 1905. 1906. 1907. J une, Regulation Hoare 1909. 1909. - - - - - - - - - - --- ---- - - - - - - a.m. p .m. a.m. p .m . Clifton .. .. 822 822 822 275 9 to 6 Murrumburrah .. 184 522 569 9 to 8 Co bar .. 689 734 787 376 9 t o 8 Moama .. .. 208 203 313 250 9 t o 8 Coil's .. 832 2,067 2,289 1,012 9 to 8 Molong .. .. 1,110 1,110 1,110 555 9 to 8 Collarenebri .. 500 514 749 552 9 to 8 Morpet h .. 2,195 2,365 4,364 1,106 9 t o 8 Come by Ch ance 1,100 1,100 1,157 550 9 to 8 Moruya .. 39 392 392 196 9 t o 8 Conargo .. 35 35 35 23 9 a.m . to 6 p.m . ; Moula meiu .. 1,257 1,318 1,385 464 9 to 8 Saturday , 9 a .m . Muswellbrook .. 250 90 142 214 9 to 8 to 1 p.m. Murwillumbah .. 1,349 944 234 137 9 t o 8 Coolah . . .. 468 468 468 494 9 to 6 Murrurundi .. 580 580 868 233 9 to 8 Coo Iamon .. 1,277 1,342 1,326 600 9 to 6 Mungindi .. Nil 936 2,184 494 9 t o 8 Cooma . . .. 952 1,407 1,196 445 9 to 6 Malwala .. Nil 526 726 630 9 to 8 Chats wood .. 632 632 1,323 355 9 to 8 Mullum bimby .. 1,104 1,536 768 9 to 8 Cobargo· .. 1,508 1,508 1,508 744 9 to 8 Mudgee . . 137 696 348 9 t o 8 Coonabarabra n .. Nil Nil 290 1,067 9 to 8 Nambucca H eads 1,499 1,499 1, 265 515 9 to 8 Coonamble .. 626 1,423 1,938 1,024 9 to 8 Narr a br i West .. 182 256 182 456 9 to 6 Cooranbong .. 771 731 782 355 9 to 6 Narromine .. 188 384 697 441 9 to 8 Cootam undra .. 843 777 41 3 385 9 to 8 Newcastle West .. 1,089 1,089 1,310 700 9 to 8 Coraki .. 645 637 oo2 214 9 t o 8 -Nimltybelle .. 104 104 104 Nil I 9 to 8 Cr ookweii .. 1,612 1,.61 2 1,43 6 87 9 t o 8 Nyngan . . .. 402 720 581 252 9 to. 8 Craw's Nest .. 233 233 409 285 9 to 6 Newcastle .. 352 551 485 801 9 to 10 Cudal .. .. 1,483 1,413 1,467 683 9 · to 8 ·oberon .. .. 1,300 1,307 1,309 653 9 t o 8 Cowra .. 1,.f71 1,406 2,045 465 9 to 8 Pambula .. 214 650 1,183 572 9 8 Dandaloo· .. 910 910 910 450 9 t<> 8 P arkes .. .. 603 740 1,213 278 9 t o 8 Dapto .. .. Nil Nil 322 355 9 to 8 Paterson .. 1,612 1,612 1,612 806 9 t o 8 D eepwater .. 1,752 1,752 1,861 866 9 t o 8 Peak H ill .. 215 674 597 497 9 to 8 Delegate .. 1,504 1,259 1,m 593 9 to 8 .. Nil Nil 996 624 9 t o 8 Deniliquiu .. 326 533 328 9 to 10 Por t Macqua"ie .. 60 58 107 91 9 t o 8 D rake . . .. 576 576 576 288 9 to 8 Quam bone .. 984 984 984 438 9 a .m. to 8 p.m. Dubbo . . .. 236 236 392 196 9 to 10 Wednesday, Dulwich Hill .. 1,153 547 634 320 9 to 8 a .m. to 1 p .m Dural .. 676 694 481 12 9 to 8 7 p.m. to 8 p .m D unghf. · · .. 376 404 417 227 9 to 8 Rand wick Nil Nil 509 31;3 9 to 8 East a itland .. 442 442 442 Nil 9 to 8 · Raymond 760 800 838 414 9 to 8 Eugowra .. 832 832 832 41 6 9 a .m. to 8 r .m.; :B.iverst ono .. Nil Nil 27 343 9 t o 8 Wednesday, 9 Singleton .. 343 1,376 660 197 9 to 10 a .m. to 1 p.m., Smithtown .. 1,560 1,560 1,560 780 9 t o 8 and 7 p.m. to Sofala 1,173 1,173 1, 173 586 9 to 8 8 p .m. South Hlii 115 249 56 Nil 8.30 to 5.80 E uston . . .. 535 589 516 204 9 to 8 Stroud . . .. 29 20 69 34 9 to 8 F orbes . . .. 962 962 984 591 9 t o 8 Springwood .. 1,742 1,742 1, 196 598 9 to 8 Gladesvllle .. 1,381 1,4Q3 1,421 330 9 a .m . to 8 p.m . ; St. Mary's .. 693 693 578 289 9 to 8 Monday, ll a.m. St uart Town .. 2,013 1,906 1,834 997 9 to 8 t o 1 p .m . South Grafton .. 1,307 738 806 547 9 to 8 Gonlburn .. 400 553 411 9 to 10 South Head .. 377 377 877 188 9 to 6 Glen Innes .. 81 858 477 9 to 10 Sutherlan d .. 10 10 10 10 9 to 6 George . street 775 454 Nil Nil 9 t o 8 Sutton Forest .. 44 44 52 62 9 to 8 North Sunny Cornsr .. 516 516 516 258 9 a.m . to 6 p.m. George·street West 472 912 513 Nil 9 t o 8 I Wednesday, GQolagong .. 1,064 1,064 1,256 728 9 a.m. to 8 p .m.; a.m. t o ·I p .m. Wednesday, · 9 T at tersalls .. 13 6 8 Nil Monday, Friday a .m. t o 1 p .m., I 9 a .m. t o 6 p .m. and 7 p.m. to 8 I Saturday , 9 a.m p .m . t o 1 p.m. Gosford .. 953 1;016 1,276 578 9 to 8 Tamworth .. 1,588 1,914 2,453 1,150 9 to 10 Gra fton .. 444 483 705 300 9 to 10 Tabulam .. 1,213 1,213 1,213 606 9 t o B Gunning .. . 1,140 1,236 605 9 to 8 Tarcutta 756 759 753 374 9 t<> 8 .. Gulargambone .. 111 936 449 322 9 to 8 Taree .. 825 763 595 474 9 to 8 Gnlgong .. 1,248 1,248 1, 404 702 9 to 8 . .. 1,511 1,502 1,980 735 9 to 8 Gtlgandra .. 1,920 1,920 1,920 1,248 9 to 8 .Tomiugley .. 390 390 390 195 9 to 6 Grenfell . . .. 1H 461 348 128 9 to 8 Trangie .. 938 978 972 604 9 to 8 Gunnedah .. 1,229 1,229 1,01 7 548 9 to 8 Trnnkey Creek .. 1,118 1,118 1,118 659 9 t o 8 H lllgrove .. 1,697 1,630 997 223 9 to 8 T umberuroba .. 408 336 288 48 9 to 8 Harden .. .. 1,056 1,056 242 144 9 t o 8 T weed H eads .. Nil 858 1,407 806 9 to 8 H elensburgh .. 697 699 586 Nil 9 to 8 Tent•rfie\d 395 437 439 236 9 to 8 H ill End .. 1,395 1,327 1,377 489 9 t o 8 Ulmarra .. 2.401 2,635 2,478 1,482 9 t o 8 Hillston . . .. 182 1,172 442 91 9 t o 8 ·uralla .. 649 636 604 241 9 to 8 Hlrstvllle .. 1,670 1,793 1,373 390 9 to 8 Wagga Wagga .. 624 624 676 364 9 to 10 H owell . . .. 1, 456 1,456 1,456 416 9 to 8 Wahroonga .. 1,068 913 586 17 9 to 8 { Estim a t ed only, no reoor d kept,) W algett .. .. 1,630 1,470 1,950 931 9 to 8 Inverell .. 60 125 860 50 9 to 8 Wall era wang .. . . . 744 9 to 8 J enolan .. 622 622 622 3H Wint er, 9 a.m . to W anaar ing .. . . . 80 9 a.m . to s . p.m. 6 p .m.; sum- Thursday,9 R.m mer, 9 a .m. to 8 to 1p.m .,7 p .m p .m. to 8 p.m. Jerry's Plains .. 832 832 1,378 689 9 to 8 W arat ah .. 408 408 408 Nil 9 to 8 J ones' Island .. 99 107 101 46 9 to 8 Wardell .. 816 816 816 406 9 to 8 Junee .. 975 1,039 1,242 124 9 t o 8 .Warren .. Nil 504 1,872 516 9 to 8 .. 1,248 1,186 1,054 428 9 to 8 West Maitland .. 643 633 606 459 9 to 10 K empsey .. 1,710 1,41 3 1,044 373 9 to 8 'l''est Kempsey .. 1,364 . . 682 9 to 8 Klandra .. 780 780 780 390 9 to 6 Werris Creek .. Nil Nil 962 962 9 to 8 K urri K urri .. 147 126 245 356 9 t o 8 Whitton .. 1,043 509 1,428 282 9 to 8 Lambton .. 384 288 384 192 9 to 8 Wickham .. 260 261 299 39 I) to 8 Laurieton. .. 873 1,064 835 35 7 9 to 8 Wee Waa .. 204 612 548 Nil 9 to 8 Lawrence .. 1,698 1,632 1,071 455 9 a .m. to 8 p.m. ; Wellington .. 78 468 468 234 9 to 8 Wednesday, 9 Wentworth .. 120 192 192 72 9 to 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wentworth F alls Nil 798 Nil Nil 9 to 8 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wilcannia .. 160 305 251 81 9 to 8 Leadville .. 676 676 676 338 9 t o 8 Windsor .. 948 750 1,156 524 9 to 8 Leur a. .. 87tl 758 745 281 9 t o 8 Wollombi .. 395 395 385 200 9 to 8 Lismore : : .. 1,222 1,124 1,590 408 9 to 10 Wollongong .. 1,378 1,378 2,236 1,456 9 t o 8 Lithgow .. 1,173 1,503 1,4M 779 \) t o 8 Wolumla .. 988 988 988 209 9 to 6.80 Liverpool .. 1,411 1,443 1,378 t\84 \) to 8 Wiseman's Ferry . . 52 48 108 168 9 to 8 Lockhart .. 1,515 1,539 1,341 754 9 to 8 Woon.ona. . . 1,168 1,344 1,5 45 364 9 to 8 Louth .. Nil 691 701 352 \) to 8 Wyalong .. 153 442 443 339 9 to 8 .. 672 672 672 364 9 to 8 Wyong . . .. Nil Nil Nil 512 9 to 8 Maclean .. 692 768 539 285 9 to 8 Wingham .. 26 94 279 87 9 t o 8 H e.nilla . . .. 196 196 196 104 9 t o 8 Manly . . .. 442 706 1,309 27 5 9 t o 8.15 Yamba . . 684 684 684 408 9 a.m. to 8 p .m. Merewether .. 523 523 247 Nil 9 t o 8 ..,. clo• e Thursday Merriwa .. 444 914 ,1,079 1 4H \) t o 8 1 p.m. to 7 p .m Mill thorpe .. 548 868 2,046 1, 076 9 t o 8 Yas• .. 232 232 544 425 9 to 8 Milton . . .. 204 204 204 r 92 9 to 8 Yetman:: 312 312 o8 6 / 208 I 9 to tl .. , Miumi .. .. 1,118 988 1,274 278 9 to 6 Young .. .. Nil ! 820 375 202 9 t o 8 I I •i..No-;record.



SUMli'IARY OF OVERTIME, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. -· ··- ·-----·----------------------------

1 ----- 1906. I 1907. 1908. :Branch. After 4.30 / After 5.30 After 4.30 After 5.30 Total. Total. After 4.30 After 5.30 ---- ---- ---- ---- ----H. M. H . M. H . M. H. M. / H. M. H. M. H. M. H. M. Stores .. .. 989 25 93 45 1,083 10 1,041 30 467 30 1,509 0 681 40 232 35 Cashier .. 742 0 213 0 955 0 1,263 o I 402 0 1,&&5 0 1.418 0 474 0 1\Ioney Or de; · .. *1 ,180 0 Nil *1 ,180 0 *1 , 180 0 Nil *1 ,180 0 *l ) SO 0 Nil Accountg, including 2,578 30 l,43S 30 4,017 0 2,058 10 I 1,785 25 3,845 35 2,168 40 670 40 Check Correspondence a nd 3,940 45 2,010 40 5,951 ' 25 4,125 45 1 1,282 3& 5, 408 21 1,564 0 703 35 Records Insp ect-ion .. .. 22 20 131 0 153 20 10 15 15 30 25 45 5 35 8 30 F remantle Staff .. 708 53 Nil 708 53 882 59 130 0 1,012 59 998 30 88 0 Telegraph .. .. Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil Mail B ranch .. .. I .. 60 dayst .. .. t52 days .. .. -Total.


H. M.

914 15 1,892 0

*1,180 0

2,839 20

2,267 35


1,086 30 Nil

t60 days

Gra nd al. Tot

H. 3,506 M. 25




4,512 3,540 10,701


5 193

2,808 Nil

172 da


10 '22


'• Approxima.te . t Goldfte!ds Travemng Post Offi ce . days Letter Carriers' Section. t Goldfields Travelling P ost Office, and three days Ma il Room and five


1906. 1907. 1908. Total.

--- ------------------------- Stores Cashier .. Money Order Accounts . . . . Correspondence and :Records Inspeciion .. Fremantle Staff Telegraph Mail :Branch .. Electric Engineer's Bra nch Stores Cashier ..

Money Order .Accounts Correspondence and Records Inspection . .

Fremantle Staff Telegraph . . . .

:Electrical E ngineer's Bran ch Mail Branch

Stores Cashier ..

Money Order Accounts ..

Correspondence Inspection ..

Fremantle Staff Telegraph Mail Branch . .

Electrieal Engineer 's Branch


101 hrs. 5 mins. 154 hrs. 55 mins. 259 hrs. 55 mins. 515 hrs. 55 Nil Nil Nil Nil

• s st':U.ys SSt days* •S3t"days

12! days 1 i days 1 day

Nil 2 honrs 35 hours

, Nil Nil

60 days 52 days 60 days

See Summary attached to relative papers



•13! days 17 ,

*69t "

41 ,

42! "


829 days 986 639j- "



24! days 25 *69t : :

_23 "

41 "


634 days

1,146t " 624t " 1,370


•. i\ )'proximate .


13! days 17 •54 13

27t "

Nilfll 443 days

958! "

1,4 48 '351


24!- ' days 25 -] , s

*54 1 13 "

457t da ys

1,049 j- "

tl,451t "


t Some accruing days for 1905 allowed.


- - -----

15! days 28 *69( " 13

34t "


683t days 1,2661-" 622 " 1,293!-



13 days

28 *54 13! "

15t "


701 t d nys 710 tl,295! "


lOOt days (7 hrs • per diem) J4j days ·, ,

37 hours Nil 172 days


53! da ys 70 208 77 118


2,146t days 4,399 1,886 " 4,205!




'I · !il days


39t "

67 Nil

1.602 d





( a) Time worked in excess of the ordinary working hours and time allowed in lieu. (b) Holidays worked and days granted in lieu.

11lOo. 1907.

' r)


-·-·-· -


Time Worked.

Hours Min.

ngineers and Clerical Staffs E w L


.. ..

orkshops and Fitters .. .. . .

ine-yards Staff .. .. . .

atterymen .. . . .. . .

elephone Attendants .. .. . .

Totals .. ... ..

Grand Totals-Time worked


Time granted in lieu Excess time worked

992 58 ..

644 0

2 0

175 12

1,814 10

Time Allowed in Lieu.

Hours Min. 21 0


644 0


10 0

675 0


Time ..lllowed

Worked. in Lieu.

Hours Min. Hours Min.

1,308 35 ..

260 0 252 0

664 0 664 0

2 0 ..

168 16 6 10

2,402 51 922 10

6,704 hours l minutes. 2,422 25

4,281 " 36


Time Allowed Worked. in Lieu. Hours Min. Hours Min. 1,457 23 59 15

309 0 1r6 30

536 0 536 0

5 30 2 0

179 7 61 :lO

2,487 0 825 15


Sub• Branch.

erical Staffs ..

orkshops and Fitters Cl w L


ine-yards Staff atterymen ..

elephone Attendants








.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

.. . .

.. ..

.. . .

Grand Totals-Total days worked Time given in lieu

Time still due


No. of No. of

Holidays Days

Worked, in Lieu.

26t 7-k

43 43

38 27-k

l ..

531 273

639! 351



No. of Holidays Worked.

18! 40 32 l




No. of No. of

Days Holidays

in Lieu. Worked.

15! 23!

35! 35

35 32

.. 2!

567 529

653 622

1,886 days. 1,609 "

277 days.



I.-Ordinary message-rate service-



No. of Days in Lieu.

4;\ 35

. .



(a) Charges for connexion with any Exchange in the County of London within 2 miles of the subscriber's premises-Annual subscription, £5. Message Fees-

One penny for each call to a subscriber on any Exchange in the County of London. Twopence for each call to a subscriber on any Exchange outside the County of London. (b) Charges for connexion with any Exchange outside the County of London, within 2 miles of the subscriber's premises-

Annual subscription, £4. Message Fees-One penny for each call to a subscriber on the same Exchange. Twopence for each call to a subscriber on any other Exchange. f'he minimum yearly amount payable by each subscriber for message fees is £1 lOs.



APPENDIX IX.-continued.


H .-Party-line message rate service­

Annual subscript ions-(a ) F or conne:xion with any Exchange except the Central E xchange, by means of a line used by not more t han two subscribers, £3. (b) F or connexion with any Exchange outside the County of London by means of a line used by more than

two an d n ot more than ten subscribers, £2.

. Subscdptions at party -line rates cannot be a ccepted from subscribers on the Central Exchange, or at the lower party-lme rate from subscribers on a ny Exchange in the County of London. .

Message fees for calls originated by party-line subscribers will be the same as for calls by subscribers at the ordinary message rate, but t he minimum yearly amount pay a ble for message fees by each party-line subscriber is £3. III-Unlimited service-Annual subscription for connexion with any Exchange within 2 miles of the subscriber's premises, together

wit h a n unlimited number of calls- ·

(a) For the first line, £17. (b) For each additional line connecting any premises of the same subscriber with an Exchange, £14.

IV.-Call office fee-For > >ny call hom a call office to any subscriber in the London area, 2d.

V.-Additional annual ch arges-(a) Where the premises of any subscriber at the ordinary message-rate or at the unlimited service-rate are more than 2 miles from the Exchange, for every additional quarter of a mile, £1 15s. (b) Where t he m ain circuit of a party line exceeds 2 miles in length, for each additional quarter of a mile, for

each subscriber, lOs. (e) For each extension line connecting two parts of the same premises of a subscriber, where the line is not more than llO yards in length, £1 lOs. (d) F or each additional 110 yards of such a line, lOs. (e) For each extension line connecting separate premises of the same subscriber, and not more than a quarter

of a mile in length, £4. (f) For each additional quarter of a mile of such a line, £1 15s.

VI.-All agreement s shall be for one ye&r, and shall be terminable thereafter by three months' notice. . VII.-Post-office subscribers will have the right to communicate with subscribms of the National Telephone Company Ill the London Exchange area at the same ra tes of charge as for communication with other post-office subscribers.



There are three kinds of charges­ (a) The flat rate charge; (b) Ground ren t and measm ed service charge; (c) Conversation charges of three minutes' duration on trunk lines and public telephones. Subscribers have the option of coming under the flat or measured services according to the provisions laid down. Measured rate subscribers must pay for at least 400 _calls yearly. The measured rate service is not given in networks where the flat rate ch arge is 80 M (£4) per annum. The flat and measured service charges are calculated on the basis of the number of subscribers in the networks at the beginning of the calendar year. Regulations are laid down regarding private liues, &c.

Proposed new telephone charges are now before the Reichstag, in the form of a Bill, according to which it is proposed to raise the flat ra te or to generally adopt the measured service system.


Flat Rate Y early . Charge.

In networks of n ot more than 50 subscribers In networks of not more t han 50 subscribers and up to and including 100 subscribers In networks of more than 100 and up t o and including 200 subscribers In networks of more than 200 an d up t o and including 500 subscribers In networks of more than 500 and up to and including 1,000 subscribers In networks of more than 1,000 and up to and including 5,000 subscribers .. In networks of more than 5,000 and up to and including 20,000 .subscribers

Above 20,000 subscribers

80 M (£4) 100M (£5) 120M (£6) 140 1\{ (£7)

150 M (£7 lOs.) 160M (£8) 170M (£8 lOs.) 180M (£9)

(N.B.-The above charges apply to each line for a distance of aerial line of not more than 5 kils (a bout 3! miles) from the Central Exchange.)

(b) M eaaured Rate Charges.

The ground rents are as follow :-In networks of not more than 1,000 subscribers In networks of more than 1,000 and up t o and including 5,000 subscribers In networks of more than 5,000 and up to and including 20,000 subscribers In networks of more than 20,000 subscribers ... The charge per conversation is 6 pfgs (i d-) for each conversation.

60 M (£3) 75 M (£3 15s.) 90 M (£4 lOs.) 100M (£5)

(N.B.-The above charges apply to a distance of aerial line of not more than 5 kils (about miles) from the Central Exchange.)


APPENDIX IX.--oontinued.


(c) telephone connex:i?ns for a greater distance than 5 kils (3t miles) from the Central Exchange, the following yearly additional charges are levied for every 100 metres (104 yards) over 5 kils (3!- miles):-For single lines .. , 3 M (3s.)

For double lines 5 M (5s.)

. For telephone connexions with aerial lines of greater length than 10 kils (6! miles) from the Central Exchange, the followmg charges are levied for each 100 metres (104 yards) in excess· of that distance:-For single lines 10M (lOs.)

For double lines 15 M (15s.)

If a telephone line is erected to other than. the nearest Exchange, an extra charge is made. Metallic circuits are charged for at the same rate as double lines. (d) For specia.lly costly lines, in addition to the usual charge, a charge of 10M (lOs:) is made for every additional 100 M (£5) of cost.

(e) For each sub-line in connexion with the premises to which the main line is connected, a yearly charge of 20M (£1 is made; for each sub-line othei· than above, 30M (£1 lOs.) If the line between the sub-office and the main line office is more than 100 metres (104 yards), for each additional 100 metres (104 yards) a. yearly charge of 3M (3s.) is made for a single line, and 5 M (5s.) for a double line. The distance is measured by the nearest usable way without enteiling special expenditure, also if the line is erected by a way.

For sub-lines which are greater than 10 kils (6! miles) from the Head Office, the same extra charge is levied for the additional cost of construction, as in the case of main lines. If two instruments are connected ,by a sub-line laid from the subscriber's residence to his place of business, or to a.nother of!ic&, an additional charge of 20M (£1) is made for the erection of tho apparatus at both places, as well as an additional yearly charge of 30M (£110s.).

{f) Special regulations are laid dowt for private lines.

(g) Long DiBtance OhargeB.

The folloWing charges are made for each conversation of 3 minutes' duration:-Up to and including 25 kils (15 miles) · 20 pfgs. (2!d.)

" 50 " (30 ) 25 " (3t

" :1.00 " (62t " ) 50 " (6id.)

500 , (312t , ) l M (ls.)

, 1,000 , (625 ) 1 M 50 pfgs (Is. 6d.)

Above · 1,000 , (625 ) 2M (2s.)

(N.B.-A special charge is made for communications with foreign States or countries.) (h) Special rates are levied for night service.

(i) For public telephones, the length of tho conversation is not to exceed 3 minutes, and the charges are--For local and neighbouring traffic . . 10 pfgs. (lid.)

For suburban traffic · 20 pfgs (2fd.)

(j) Special regulations are laid down for communications relating to accidents and urgent communications.



Report by Japkson, Crumb and Wilder, Telephony, June, 1907.

Table No. 5.

Chicago. New York. Philadelphia. St. Louis. Boston. Baltimore.

Dollars. Cent&. Dollars. Cents. Dollars. Cents. Dollars. Cents. DollArs. Cents. Dollars. Cents

Businel!l! flat rate .. Direct Line, measured-600 messages ••

a365 • • None . . . b160 . . 125 . . 162 . . b125 .•

800 " .•

1,000 , . ..

1,200 " ..

1,400 " ..

1,600 , ..

1,800 " ..

2,000 " ..

3,000 " ..

4,000 , ..

5,000 " ..

6,000 " ••

:Beslden.-l!'lat rate, Direct line •.

Flat-rate, Two-party line .. l!'lat rate, Three-party line l!'lat rate, Four-party llne Heasured Service-

Single line, minimum charge • Additional messages each. • . •

Two-party line, minimum charge .. r Additional messages, each. . . .

' Four-party line, minimum charge .. p,· Additional messages, each ..

60 66 72 78 84 114 140 160 180

72 60 51 None

5•00 4"71 4•50 4"33 4•20

3•80 3"50 3•20 s·oo

5•00 s·oo 5 •00

5•00 5·00 5·00

48 57 66 75 85

92 99 109 147

178 209 240





8"00 7 "12 69

6 "60 78

6 '25 88

6 "07 98

5 "75 105

5 '50 114

6 "45 124

4 "90 150

4 •45 200

4 "18 246

4"00 286

8:62 7·so 7 "33 7·oo 6"56 6"33 6"20 s·oo 5·oo

4"92 4"77

Zone rate only

s·oo 5"00 7"00 5"00 6"00 5·oo

" ..

Zone rate only




60 66 72 78 84

90 96 126 156 186 216

60 42

None 36



7•50 6"60 6"00 6"57 5•25 5•00 4•80 4•20 3•90 3•72 3"60

4•80 3•00 4•50 3·00 None

• 'lor Private :Br&DCh lhobaDao mmk llne. I> No loDiBr quoted.

60 70 78 84 90 96 102 108 138 168 198 228

116 90 None



8•75 7•80 7 •00 6•43 6•00 5"66 5"40

4•60 4"20 3•96 3·8o

10·00 5·00 9•00 5·oo None

48 s·oo

57 7 •12

66 6 "60

75 6"25

84 6"00

90 5 "62

96 5 "33

102 5 "10

132 4"40

162 4"05

192 . 3 "84

222 3"70

48 36





s·oo 5•00 8·33 5•00 6•00 5•00



APPENDIX JX.-continued.



Single Party Line.


Rent per Annum.

£ 8. d.

12 6 5

18 9 7

22 II 0

30 14 6

36 19 2

43 I 5

48 4 5


Calls allowed per Annum.

900 2,100 2,880 4,560 6,360 9,000 12,960

Extra Calls each.

2-kd. 2d. 1! d. 1td. 1!d. 1d.



Single-party line Two-party line Single-party line Two-party line Four-party line Four-party line

Line. Rent per Annum.

£ 8 . d.

13 11 0

11 l 9

18 14 9

14 19 9

7 9 ll

2 9 3


____ Lm_ · •• ___ /


Single-party line

Rent per Annum.

£ 8. d.

7 7 10

Calls allowed per Annum.

720 720 1,825 1,460


Calls allowed per Annum.



Two-party line Four-party line

Line. Rent per Annum.

£ 8. d.

5 12 5

3 14 11


Calls allowed per Annum.

730 365

Single-party line Two-party line Four-party line

Per annum. £8 12 6

7 7 10

6 3 3

Flat ra.te

Extension Telephones are provided a t a cost of Public Telephone calls .. Private Branch Exchanges-For each switchboard and operator

For each junction line to Exchange For each additional telephone connected with a private E xchange and installed in same premises (excepting hotels) . . . . . . . .

For each additional telephone installed in hotels and connected with Private Branch E xchange therein-For each of the first 100 telephones or less .. For each telephone ove.r 100 and not over 150 For each telephone ovm: 150 and n ot over 200 For each telephone over 200 and not over 300 For each telephone over 300 . . . . . .

For each desk set in place of wall set (a dditional to above charges) For each call up to 1,000 pPr month For each call over 1,000 to 3,000 per month li'oF each call over 3,000 per month

Extra Calls each.

2td. 2td. 2d. 2td. 2td. 2td.

Extra Calls each.

Extra Calls each.

£1 4 7 per ailnUlll

2fd. per call

£12 6 6 per annum

6 3 3

4 7

1 4 7

1 2 2

0 19 8

0 17 3

0 12 4

0 4 11.

1 id· per call ld.



Printed and Publisl,ed f01 the GOY!!:RNM EN'l' of the CoMMONWEALTH ot AuSTRALIA by J. KEMP, Governmer,t for the State of Vh.:tori,l