§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Postmaster General, Is it a fact that a rule is made that disqualifies rural letter-carriers who have not been telegraph messengers from getting appointed as town letter-carriers, and if any appointment has been made in the General Post Office, Belfast, or about to be made, of men who held no appointment before (save telegraph messengers' appointments); and, if so, what is the reason that they are appointed in preference to rural letter-carriers holding appointments; and, whether he will recommend that all rural letter-carriers will get town appointments by the seniority of their appointments; and, if the rule is made, and cannot be rescinded, he will give those who have to suffer from the effects of it a yearly increase of salary by way of recompense for being so disqualified?
§ MR. FAWCETT
Sir, there is no rule which disqualifies rural letter-carriers who have not been telegraph messengers from being appointed as town letter-carriers; but preference is given, and I think very properly, to town telegraph messengers, who have no other position to look to in which they can be permanently retained in the employment of the Post Office. On the other hand, the established rural letter-carriers to whom the hon. Member refers already hold appointments in the postal service, which, subject to good behavior, are permanent. I do not think it would be desirable to cut off town telegraph messengers from all opportunity of getting on the establishment.