§ Mr. MIDDLETON
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he is aware that it is proposed to place the retiring rooms for the uniform grades in the basement of the new Post Office building at Mount Pleasant; whether he is aware of the strong objections of the staffs to any such proposal; and whether he will take steps to secure that no retiring room shall be situated in the basement;
(2) whether the Treasury has sanctioned expenditure for only part of the new Post Office building at Mount Pleasant; whether he is aware of the great congestion and unsatisfactory staff conditions in the present building, and that such congestion and conditions will be intensified by the proposal to use part of the ground floor and basement for uses other than at present; and whether, in view of these facts, he will undertake to secure that the whole of the new building will be built as soon as possible?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
Parliament has voted the money for the provision of the first section of the new Post Office building at Mount Pleasant, and this is in course of erection. Parliamentary sanction for the second section will be sought in due course. It is necessary to proceed with the erection of the new building in two sections, as simultaneous demolition of all the existing buildings on the site would have caused great inconvenience and expense. Congestion in the existing building will be relieved when the first section of the new building is completed. In the new building the basement will be lofty, with good natural ventilation and light. At the moment the only retiring accommodation which it is proposed to place there is some at present located in the basement of the old building; but it744W is possible that other retiring accommodation may be provided there at a later date. In my opinion, no hardship would result from this course.