§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Postmaster General, If he is aware that Mr. William Bell, one of the principal clerks on the surveyor's staff in the North of Ireland, holds the position of agent to a guarantee and assurance association, and if such agency is consistent with his position and duties, and for the advantage of the department of which he is a servant, remembering that the Post Office affords facilities for insurance; is it with his sanction Mr. Bell holds such agency; did Mr. Bell acquire this agency at the time when the general bond guaranteeing the fidelity of telegraph clerks expired and was not renewed by the Government; and, have any abuses been brought under his notice arising from officials holding superior positions in the service?
§ MR. FAWCETT
, in reply, said, he found on inquiry that Mr. Bell had held the situation referred to for the last 13 years. Before he obtained the situation he got the permission of the Postmaster General of the day to fill it, and under these circumstances the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) would see it would be very hard upon Mr. Bell if he were called upon to resign. As indicated in the Question, he (Mr. Fawcett) thought it was undesirable that situations similar to this should be held by officials of the Post Office, and so far as he was concerned he should not give similar permission in the future.