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PEOPLE BUYING HEAVILY

FOR CHRISTMAS

The Christmas shopping rush con- tinued in the city yesterday, with hectic moments and intervals of comparative calm.

"A welter of mad spending" is how one department manager1 described

it.

The people, he sa|d, seemed to have plenty of money, and with the coupon handicap considerably ligh- tened, had been buying heavily.

At a men's store in Bourke st yes- terday a delivery of 20 dozen hand- kerchiefs was swept from the coun- ter in less than 10 minutes. A new batch of bathing trunks was bought five minutes after being displayed.

The rush on men's shirts was de- scribed as phenomenal. In the last two weeks this store has sold 1,000 dozen white shirts.

The trend of the shopping indicates that perfume, stockings, and jewel- lery of the cheaper variety will alsc figure prominently in Christmas stockings. One leading city store has decided to close all day Monday (Christmas Eve). The others, how- ever, will remain open.

HEAYY CHRISTMAS MAILS

The public had responded well to the injunction to "post early," and the bulk of the interstate Christmas mails had been cleared up, Mr. W. A. Martin superintendent of mails, said yesterday. On the other hand, many people had left it until now to post their suburban and country greet- ings, and these mails were likely to be heavy until Christmas.

Because of restricted rail services there was likely to be a heavy de- livery on Saturday, Mr. Martin said. Tonight's trains would bring the final Christmas mails from the country, and to cope with these there

would be an extra delivery tomor-

row.

Wednesday produced an all-time Victorian record for registered mail, Mr Martin said. A total of 47,000 Î>arcels were received at the regis ered section during the day.

REDUCED. TRAIN SERVICE

The skeleton country passenger train service announced by the Rail- ways Department last week will begin today. There will be only three trains each way a week on main country lines, and two a week on less busy lines.

The new cuts represent a reduc \ tion of 40% on the 60% reduction which operated until yesterday. In

{effect, Hit department will maintain [ only a jkelewm service on country

lines.

"Don't travel unless you must!" is the injunction of transport officials.

PETROL SALES

No petrol will be sold after 1pm on

Christmas Eve.

A representative of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce said yesterday that garage owners had been notified that they must close their doors at 1pm on Monday, Tuesday (Christmas Day), and Wed- nesday of next week, and on Mon- day and Tuesday (New Year's Day) of the following week in compliance with Federal Government regula- tions. There was nothing, however, to prevent garage owners from clos- ing altogether on those days, or on any other days, for that matter.

The direction applied only to sales of petrol. Mechanics, however, who operated under the Metal Trades Award, were permitted to work be- hind closed doors at garages during the afternoons of those' holidays, he

added.

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