§ MR. JORDAN (Clare, W.)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether Mr. Maloney, postmaster, Kildysart, county Clare, receives but £10 per annum for postal work, and whether out of that amount he is compelled to pay £5 yearly to a letter carrier; whether, as postmaster, he attends from 7 o'clock a.m. till 7 p.m. daily for net £5 per annum, or 3¼d. per day, and without an hour's leave during 4 the year; whether Kildysart is a postal centre of such importance as to warrant an increase of Maloney's salary, and the payment of the letter-carrier by the Post Office authorities; whether Maloney's remuneration as telegraphist at Kildysart is but 6s. per week, while in many cases apprentices for less responsible work receive double that sum, and for little more work telegraphists receive from 20s. to 30s. per week; whether 1,000 words on a daily average are transmitted from Kildysart; whether his work in this department is made more onerous by the use of a bad instrument; whether the Government will consider this case with a view to redress it; and, whether a similar state of things does largely obtain in said county?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
I think I ought to inform the hon. Member that all sub-postmasters throughout the United Kingdom are paid upon one principle, which may be described, shortly, as a system of payment by results. It is the practice to appoint as sub-postmasters persons having private business, and to give them a small retaining fee, and, in addition, commission for various branches of work. The payment, therefore, adjusts itself to the work; and if there is but little pay it is evident there is but little work. The principle appears to me a sound one. If there is anything peculiar in the case of Mr. Maloney, his proper course is to make his application to me through the prescribed channel, when the case would be investigated. I may add that Mr. Maloney is a grocer, and is not required to give his whole time to the Public Service, and that the total amount paid to him in 1885, under the principle mentioned, was about £28. An allowance of £9 2s. 6d. is given to him for the purpose of engaging a messenger, who is occupied but a short time daily. I have called upon him to explain why he only gives £5 of the allowance to this messenger. The telegraph instrument—an "A. B. C."—is fully adequate for the telegraph requirements of the office, and the average number of words telegraphed daily is much below 1,000.