movement arrows too far away from empty parent & its parented set

2.49b: with an empty placed close to set of objects, then made parent, its movement arrows appear at a large distance from the empty and the set I want to move, so I can’t move the set precisely (to the center of the screen like I want).

(In case it’s important, I think that when I imported the set of objects they came in at a larger scale compared to the default scene, but I also think I have to allow them to import that way in order to get them imported correctly, because if I constrain the import, some objects are moved and scaled differently than the rest.)

And some details might help:
When I first create the empty, its control arrows are indeed right at its location;
then I use <A> to select all the objects (actually twice), <shift>LMB (again twice) to deselect and reselect the empty (so it’s last selected, for parenting), and then <ctrl>P to parent the objects to the empty, and it’s at that point that a dashed line projects downward from the empty, going quite a distance, with the control arrows for the empty now at that far removed point, too far to precisely move the empty and its associated objects.

** So, after I put the empty near the set of objects, and then parent my set of objects to it, how can I get its control arrows to appear AT the empty, not some big distance away from the empty?