HC Deb 19 May 1881 vol 261 cc796-7

asked Mr. Attorney General, If Clause 7 in "The Telegraph Act, 1868," by which the clerks transferred from the Companies to the Government are admitted to the rights and privileges of clerks in the "permanent Civil Service of the Crown," is still in force; and, if so, whether the clerks can be legally deprived of the position conferred upon them by the said Act; and, whether those clerks who joined subsequently are not entitled to the same advantages by the Superannuation Post Office and War Office Act of 1876, which was supposed to place the pro-transfer and post-transfer clerks on an equal footing?


Sir, I have had some difficulty in following the Question of my hon. Friend. in the first place, Clause 7 of the Tel graph Act of 1868 has no bearing upon the subject of the Question. I presume that the hon. Member intends to refer to one of the sub-sections of Clause 8. If my surmise be correct, I answer the first part of his Question by saying that I believe that enactment is still in force, and whatever may be the legal rights of clerks under that enactment they are entitled to enjoy them. As to the second part of the Question, I say I cannot admit that my hon. Friend is right in saying that the Superannuation Act of 1876 "is supposed to place the pre-transfer and post-transfer clerks on an equal footing." Certainly that is not the correct interpretation of the Act of 1876, which places certain post-transfer clerks, irregularly appointed, on the same footing as other clerks in the Civil Service regularly appointed, but not on the same footing as pre-transfer telegraphic clerks.