§ MR. DEASY(for MR. MAURICE HEALY) (Cork)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is the fact that a number of the town postmen attached to the Cork Post Office have been for a considerable time past entitled to good service "stripes," bring- 55 ing increased pay; and, if so, why the granting of the stripes is delayed; whether, when granted, the men will receive back pay for the period during which the stripes were delayed; whether it is the fact that the Cork postmen are excluded from the privilege of competing for positions in the higher grades of the service, such as that of letter sorter, &c. when vacancies occur, though this right exists in other offices having a similar status; whether it is the fact that Cork postmen, though attached to a first class office, and numbering 25, are placed, as regards pay, in the same position as the Limerick postmen, Limerick being a second class office, having only four town postmen; and, if the facts are as stated, whether the Department intend to take any steps to redress the grievances of the Cork officials?
§ SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER) (Wolverhampton, E.)
I think the Question of the hon. Member must have been put under a misapprehension. The number of good conduct stripes is strictly limited, and no postman can be said to have become entitled to the distinction simply because he has served the full period after which he is eligible to receive it. No good conduct stripes are available at the present moment; but as soon as they become so the claims of the Cork postmen will be considered with those of others. The Cork and Limerick postmen are paid on the same scale. The hon. Member speaks, indeed, of Cork as a first class office, and of Limerick as an office of the second class; but the Postmaster General knows of no such distinction, nor can he admit that the number of postmen attached to any particular office should regulate the scale of pay. Except in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, the appointment of letter sorter, so called, does not exist. As regards all other appointments, the postmen at Cork are not excluded from any privilege which postmen enjoy elsewhere.