POSTAL AND TELEGRAPHIC.
[From Oue Parliamentary Reporter.]
WELLINGTON, October 12. According to the annual report, laid on tha table this ufterrnoon, the increase in the revenue from the dual departments for the year ended March 31 last was £26,359, or 7.22 per cent. The balance of revenue over expenditure was £38,147, or, including the value of official correspondence and Government telegrams, a balance of £143,144 in favor of the department on the year's transactions.
The letters posted in the colony showed an increase of 905,398, and forwarded telegrams of all codes an increase of 395,958. The amount deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank was £2,881,112, and the sum withdrawn £2,591,558. The total sum to the credit of depositors at the close of the calendar year was £4,311,634, 'as compared with £3,895,543 on the 31st December, 1895.
There were 5,747 telephone exchange connections on March 31 last—a net increase of 604 The subscriptions received amounted to £29,248.
The health of the staff has been good on the whole, although one or two cases of lengthened absence have raised the average absence of the women employed to 10 37 days as against 5 5 days for the last year. The average absence of male officers, however, declined from 3 8 days to 2 8 days. The summer months showed a very light difference from the winter months as far as the men were concerned, but the average absence of the women increased during the summer to 6 26 days as compared with 4.07 d iys in the winter.
As a result of the postage, telegram, and telephone reductions as compared v/ith the raf.es in 1890, it is estimated that the public were relieved of payments amounting to £98,120 in 1896, notwithstanding which the department coltected £56,788 more revenue than it did in 1890.
It is claimed that the use of bicycles as a m.ans of facilitating the. delivery of letters ami telegrams has been considerably extended in the past yoar. It is proposed to gradually apply the system to places where it is likely to be advantageous, either in the direction of acceleration or in extending deliveries. The boom in the bicycle trade and the consequent high price of machines have so far prevented the department from settling on a standard pattern, but with the experience which has been gained little difficultyis anticipated in compiling a suitable specification for future orders.
Tne introduction of the sixpenny telegram system has taught users of the telegraph to so condense their telegrams that the average cost of a message which uuder the old rates was la 1.5 d, and which in the first month of the new tariff was 10-96 d, fell to 9-29 d in March last;, and it appears probable that the revenue of 1897-98 will be less than that of the preceding year, although telegraph work will be increased from 25 to 30 per cent.
Concerning telephone business, the report states that the growth in the number of subscribers at the four large centres has rendered it necessary to renew the switchboards. This is now being done at Wellington, and a multiple switchboard has been ordered for Auckland, with similar boards for Christehurch and Dunedin to follow. It is also proposed to gradually telephones of the old type at all the exchanges with new pattern instruments. lne additional expenditure for switchboards and new telephones i 3 estimated at £6,000 per annum for some years to come.
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POSTAL AND TELEGRAPHIC., Evening Star, Issue 10443, 12 October 1897, Supplement
POSTAL AND TELEGRAPHIC. Evening Star, Issue 10443, 12 October 1897, Supplement
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