HC Deb 07 March 1887 vol 311 cc1394-5
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether there are about 900 Head Post Offices, and whether the appointments to about half of these are still made through political patronage; whether a Departmental Committee, composed of officers of long experience and high standing in the Service, called attention in their Report, a few months ago, to the evils arising from the present system of filling Postmasterships through political patronage, and strongly urged that this method of appointment should be entirely abolished; and, whether he will ask the Treasury to adopt this recommendation, and thus throw upon the Treasury the responsibility of refusal?


There are 915 Head Post Offices, and of these the Treasury at present nominate to 355. The Departmental Committee to which the hon. Member refers made recommendations in the direction indicated by the Question. I am, however, advised not at present to propose such an alteration to the Treasury. I do not differ from the Committee as to the desirability, if practicable, of eliminating the political element from these appointments; but there are very great difficulties in the way of organizing a system of appointments of the smaller description without consideration of local circumstances. I hope, however, as soon as I have been able to arrive at any positive conclusions on the subject, to discuss them with the Treasury.