HC Deb 17 September 1886 vol 309 cc770-1
MR. BEADEL (Essex, Chelmsford)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether, having regard to the increased and responsible duties attaching to postmasters and masters of sub-offices in respect of Savings Bank Deposits, Postal Orders, &c, he will take into consideration the salaries paid with a view to increase the same?

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)

I am glad to have this opportunity, in reply to the Question of the hon. Member, of explaining a matter which appears to be very little understood by hon. Members. The Question of the hon. Member may be divided into two portions, one relating to the pay of Postmasters and the other to the pay of Sub-Postmasters. It is necessary, however, to explain the meaning of these terms. There are two classes of Postmasters—(1) those in the largo offices appointed by the Postmaster General, who are regularly established officers, give their whole time to the Public Service, and are paid by adequate salaries; (2) Postmasters appointed by the Treasury who do not give their whole time to the public, but who manage offices of a smaller character than those in the gift of the Postmaster General, and yet larger and of more importance than sub-offices. In computing the salary of both classes of Postmasters, all branches of the work are taken into consideration, and their salaries are adjusted from time to time as the business develops and the circumstances justify. The 16,000 sub-offices come into a different category, as I explained to the House on the 10th instant. All Sub-Postmasters are paid according to results, so that if the pay is little the work is little also. The practice is to appoint as Sub-Postmaster a man having some trade or private occupation, and whose whole time is not required for the Public Service. A small annual retaining fee is given to him; and in addition to this he receives commission at authorized rates for letters, money order business, savings bank business, postal order business, insurance and annuity business, parcels, telegraph, business, &c. &c. The advantage of this system is that it adjusts itself; and that if the work develops the Sub - Postmaster knows that the pay will develop. The hon. Member will therefore see that all the points he mentions have been taken into consideration, and are part of the Postal system.