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Thursday, 17 October 1974
Page: 1806

Senator MARRIOTT - My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the

Senate. In spite of the Government's understandable desire to boost the revenue of the Postmaster-General's Department, does the Leader of the Government agree that it is gross extravagance and shocking administration for a telegram of some 40 words to be sent on behalf of a Minister of State in Parliament House to me in my office in the same building? If he does agree, will he use his undoubted influence in Cabinet to have such extravagances cease forthwith?

Senator MURPHY -No, I do not agree with that suggestion. The sending of a telegram is sometimes a useful way of communicating a message. It may even be cheaper if the person cannot be found rather than constantly wasting time to communicate with him. I understand that some persons have taken the view that sending a telegram may actually be in certain circumstances a saving of time rather than having persons trying to find someone or sending messages around. Certainly it is something that cannot be assumed to be such a gross administrative extravagance, as the honourable senator suggests. I suggest that his raising of this matter over a simple little telegram and the expenditure of public time and the use of the air waves to ventilate this matter is probably costing 10,000 times as much as the telegram to which he refers.

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