HC Deb 07 March 1887 vol 311 cc1403-4
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he recently received a Memorial signed by 431 clerks in the Post Office Savings Bank, respectfully asking him to receive a deputation of four of their number, in order that they might lay before him certain facts which they hold have injuriously affected their position and prospects in the Service; and, whether he refused to see the deputation?


In reply to the hon. Member, I cannot, I think, do better than read the answer which I gave to the Memorialists. The answer is somewhat lengthy, and I am sorry to trouble the House by reading it; but I think it is necessary, in order to place hon. Members in possession of the facts of the case:— The Postmaster General has carefully read the statement, dated the 11th ultimo, of the subjects on which certain officers of the Savings Bank desired to seek an interview with him. He observes that those subjects may be divided into two heads—(1) the nature of the accommodation provided for the staff; (2) the question of the organization of the Office. He thinks that the first subject is one which the clerks may properly and legitimately bring before him, if they suffer any serious inconvenience or injury on that score; but he would remark that the Department and Parliament have already given anxious attention to the matter; that Parliament has decided on the course which should be adopted; and that steps have been taken to purchase at a very considerable outlay an additional site, adjacent to the present building, and that a new structure will be erected as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he sees no other course but to hire, pending the completion of the new building, such premises as the needs of the Department may, from time to time, require. Premises accordingly have been hired, and it is possible that in a short time he will have to hire more premises. However, if the officers who signed this Memorial wish to make any further representation to him in writing upon this subject, or to offer any new suggestion, he will willingly receive it. The question of the organization of an Office stands in a different category; and I was obliged to decline to discuss it with the subordinate members of the Service, though I informed them that I had a full sense of its importance.