§ MR. LYNCH
asked the Postmaster General, What is the total number of parcels received and transmitted in Ireland since the introduction of the parcels post system on the 1st August last; what number passed through the hands of the rural letter carriers; what rule (if any) has been laid down for provincial postmasters in Ireland in order to secure for letter carriers the unfavoured allotment of the good conduct or long service stripes; and, whether the rural letter carriers have received any increase of pay to compensate them for the additional labour entailed upon them by the parcels post; and, if not, what steps are proposed to be taken to make an equitable improvement in their condition in this regard?
§ MR. FAWCETT
The number of parcels posted in Ireland since the introduction of the Parcels Post up to the 31st of March was about 757,000, and the number delivered about 908,000. Of these, about 208,000 passed through the hands of the rural postmen. It has not been thought necessary, in consequence of the introduction of the Parcels Post, to make any general revision of the postmen's wages, but an increase of wages is given in cases where the circumstances are considered to justify it; in many cases assistance is provided. In reply to the last part of the hon. Member's Question, I may explain that the Provincial postmasters have not the bestowal of the good-conduct stripes. I am responsible for their bestowal, and great care is taken to give them to the most deserving. About half the postmen in Ireland who are on the Establishment are at the present time wearers of good-conduct stripes.