§ MR. MACFARLANE
(for Mr. GRAY) asked the Postmaster General, If it is a fact that the Superintendent of the Belfast Telegraph Office is about to be appointed to the vacant superintendentship of the Dublin Telegraph Office; whether such appointment is not contrary to the regimental system of promotion hitherto observed, by which the vacancies at the respective offices were filled up by the appointment of officers attached to the staff in which the vacancy occurred; whether a similar violation of that system of promotion did not also re- 1655 cently occur by the promotion of a clerk from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the post of technical officer at Dublin, thereby depriving the Dublin Telegraph Office of three promotions; whether the contemplated promotion of the Superintendent at Belfast to Dublin will deprive them of four promotions; whether it is a fact that on several occasions the Dublin telegraphists have received the thanks of the London Secretary for the creditable manner in which they have performed their duties; and, if he will state to the House why they are now punished by depriving them of their legitimate promotion?
§ MR. FAWCETT
Sir, in reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that it is the case that the Superintendent of Telegraphs at Belfast has been appointed Superintendent of Telegraphs at Dublin, in the room of an officer transferred from Dublin to Belfast. There is nothing unusual in such an appointment, and the Dublin officers are not prejudiced by the change. The appointment of technical officer was recently created at Dublin, and a clerk from Newcastle-on-Tyne was promoted to it. I consider it of great importance in the interests of the Service that no strict line of demarcation should be laid down; but that there should be freedom of transfer, not only between office and office in the same part of the Kingdom, but between one part of the Kingdom and another. In several instances officers have been brought from Scotland and Ireland to fill appointments in England; and, in the same way, I think it desirable to have an opportunity of sending officers from England to Ireland and Scotland, when, as in the recent case of the clerk detached from Newcastle-on-Tyne, the interests of the Service appear to be promoted by it. I am pleased to be able to state that on more than one occasion within the last year or so the Dublin telegraphists have received thanks from headquarters in London for the creditable manner in which they have performed their duties.