HC Deb 04 August 1873 vol 217 cc1517-8

asked the Postmaster General, If the following extract is not a correct statement of a Post Office Rule:— Every person whose employment in the service is recognized by the Postmaster General is an officer of the Department. No person under sixteen years of age can be permitted to hold any situation in the Post Office, or to have access to the letters: if he has made further inquiry as to the Glasgow Post Office, and if-the result of that inquiry has been to show that the above Rule had been violated by the employment of boys from fourteen to sixteen years old in the delivery of letters; if it be the fact that last Tuesday a boy who has not completed his thirteenth year was sent out to deliver an important section of the London Mail; and, if he will give the new Postmaster positive instructions and fuller power to make his staff efficient?


in reply, said, the Rule referred to was not invariably acted upon. In London and other places, where there were boy sorters and telegraph boys under 16 years of age, when pressure came upon the Department they were used for the purpose of distributing letters; and he was informed that when they were so used there were fewer complaints against them than there were on the average against the regular men. He had made inquiries with regard to the Glasgow post office, and found that the Regulation referred to had not been acted upon, because a large number of additional letter carriers, whose appointment had been authorized, had not all been appointed, and therefore boy sorters and telegraph boys had been employed in distributing letters. With regard to the third Question, he was informed that it had no foundation in fact; and, with reference to the last one, the fullest power had been given to the postmaster to make his staff efficient. If the hon. Gentleman represented the feeling of Glasgow, that city must be very ungrateful, for there was no town in the United Kingdom for whose postal arrangements more had been done than Glasgow.