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Thursday, 2 August 1906
Page: 2244

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Upon the 18th July the honorable and learned member for Parkes asked the following questions: -

1.   Was it by his knowledge and authority that the telegraphic instruments connecting the Royal Exchange of Sydney with the General Post Office of that city had been suddenly removed without notice to the public?

2.   Has not the Exchange in question been a telegraphic centre for the commercial community for many years, and was it not one of the most important and frequently used centres in the State of New South Wales?

3.   Is he aware that telegrams from that part of the city have now to be sent to the General Post Office by messenger - a distance of over a quarter of a mile?

4.   Is he aware that the tube connexion between the Exchange and the General Post Office is out of order, and incapable of use for the purpose for which it has been established?

5.   Is he aware that the officials who had been in the Exchange some years, and had become acquainted with the special requirements of the mercantile community, have been removed from that centre, and inexperienced persons substituted ?

6.   Will he state the departmental reasons for these several changes, and for thus reducing the business conveniences of the mercantile portion of the Sydney community?

The replies which have been furnished are as follow : -

1.   Yes, on the recommendation of the Deputy Postmaster-General, Sydney.

2.   Yes.

3.   Yes. Messengers are despatched from the Exchange about every six or seven minutes, provided, of course, telegrams have been lodged for them to convey. They at present use the trams, but, pending the completion of arrangements for installing a workable tube connexion between the General Post Office, Sydney, and the Exchange, it is proposed to supply them with bicycles; when this has been done, the service will be accelerated, as it will be possible to arrange a fixed time-table of five minutes.

4.   Yes. The tube connexion referred to was never taken over by the Postmaster-General's Department.

5.   The only officers said to have been removed are a telegraphist, whose position became unnecessary under the new arrangement, and a mail boy, who was replaced by a messenger Another telegraphist has been promoted to the position of postmaster in connexion with changes resulting from classification, but has not yet left the Exchange, pending the appointment of his successor.

6.   The change was made because it was found that the old arrangement was unnecessarily expensive, and that a savins of J'a-,s n»r annum could be effected by the alteration, after allow ing for the cost of supplying bicycles.

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