HC Deb 09 August 1883 vol 282 cc2090-1

asked the Postmaster General, Whether, on the 31st of March last, the commission on the sale of stamps was taken away from the Irish sub - postmasters; whether, in consequence, they were promised an increase in their salaries; whether any increase will be granted them; what increase of salary or commission will be given to them in consequence of the now and increased duties imposed upon them by the Parcels Post system; and, whether he will take any steps to equalise the salaries of said officers, and fix them in proportion to their duties?


asked the Postmaster General, Whether it is true that only an increase of £2 per annum is given to sub-postmasters to remunerate them for the additional labour entailed by the parcel post; whether, since this increase has been made, the commission or poundage hitherto allowed them for the sale of stamps is withdrawn; whether this commission was generally higher than the increase now offered as a remuneration for discharging the duties of the parcel post; whether this £2 per annum also represents the increase given to the letter-carriers who have to convey those parcels daily; and, whether it is true that a scale of fines has been arranged to punish postmasters for any errors committed by them in discharging duties for which they get so little remuneration?


Sir, as stated in the Annual Report of the Post Office, which has recently been laid before Parliament, the rates of remuneration granted to sub-postmasters throughout the whole of the United Kingdom have been readjusted and improved, at an estimated additional annual cost of £34,000. On the 27th of March a Notice was issued stating that, as part of a general measure for re-adjusting these rates of pay, the separate payment of poundage on the sale of stamps of all kinds would cease from the 1st of April, and that, thenceforward, the remuneration for that branch of business would be given in the shape of fixed payments, based upon the actual amount of business done. It was further notified that, as some time must necessarily elapse before the whole of the changes could be carried into effect, all the re-adjustments would date from the 1st of April last. The somewhat complicated process of re-adjusting these rates has now been completed as regards Ireland, and authority has been issued to the Office in Dublin to carry out the changes. The general effect of the revision is to give sub-postmasters an improved rate of pay; but, as heretofore, the total amount which a sub-postmaster receives in the course of a year will depend upon the total amount of business which he has to perform. As regards parcels post work, the pay given to sub-postmasters for such work is 2s. 6d. per 100 parcels posted, 1s. 6d. per 100 parcels received for delivery, with a minimum of £2 a-year, whether a single parcel is dealt with or not. The remuneration for the sale of stamps is altogether independent of the allowance granted for work connected with the parcels post. The scale of fines for irregularities in regard to parcels is on the same basis as that which relates to the letter service of the ordinary post.