§ MR. HENEY GILL (Limerick)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether the maximum salary of the letter-carriers of the post office of Limerick, which is now ranked as a first-class office, is only twenty-two shillings a week, whilst that of the letter-carriers of Dublin, Belfast, &c. is thirty shillings a week; whether the duration of work is in the aggregate the same as in Limerick; whether, up to the year 1882, the salary of the sorting clerks in Limerick was only four shillings a week in advance of that of the letter-carriers, whilst now it is sixteen shillings a week in advance; whether in Limerick there are only four first-class positions amongst thirty-seven clerks in the telegraph branch, whilst in the post office branch there are nine first-class positions amongst fifteen clerks; and, if these discrepancies exist, 660 will steps be soon taken to remedy them by raising the salaries of the letter-carriers to the same scale as in other first-class offices, and increasing the number of first-class appointments in the telegraph service?
§ THE POSTMASTEE GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
In reply to the hon. Member I find that the wages granted to postmen in Limerick are the same as those given at Plymouth, Bath, Paisley, and other towns, and that they were raised in 1882 to the present amount—namely, 18s., rising by 1s. to 22s. a-week. They are amply sufficient, and it is not intended to increase them further. The circumstances of the other towns referred to in the Question are different. The wages of the sorting clerks in Limerick were raised in 1881, because they were considered not sufficient for the duties performed. As regards the superior positions referred to, I have to inform the hon. Member that the number of superior appointments must be determined by the number of superior duties to be discharged, and that from time to time, as business increases, it becomes necessary to adjust the number of the higher appointments. Various alterations, consequent on the increased business arising out of the reduced rates for telegrams, are now under consideration; and it is probable that the numbers of the classes at the Limerick office will have to be examined from this point of view.
§ MR. HENRY GILL
asked for an explanation as to the discrepancy between the letter-carriers and the sorters.
§ MR. RAIKES
said, his answer only applied to the letter-carriers, whose wages it did not seem to him necessary to increase. He was not responsible for the increase in the case of the sorters, which had been made in 1881, for reasons which had been approved of by the late Mr. Fawcett.