HC Deb 30 April 1888 vol 325 cc901-2
MR. CAREW(for Mr. M'CARTAN) (Down, S.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he is aware that Patrick Cooper, of Alexander Street (West) Belfast, who passed his examination on the 25th of July last for the Telegraph Department in the Post Office, Belfast, was examined by Dr. Browne, and was refused the necessary certificate; whether, before refusing the certificate, Dr. Browne, among other questions, asked Cooper what school he had been attending, and was informed by him that it was at a school of the Christian Brothers; whe- ther Mr. Shepherd, the Postmaster at Belfast, wrote to Mrs. Cooper, the boy's mother, on the 5th of April instant, that Dr. Browne did "not question that her son's general health is satisfactory;" whether certificates from Professor Cuming, M.D., and Dr. Dempsey, J.P., certifying that Cooper was physically fit to fill any position in the Postal Telegraph Service, were sent to Mr. Shepherd, but without avail; and, whether, under the circumstances, and considering that Cooper is the son of a coastguard who died some time ago, having spent his life in the British Service, he will consider his claims to appointment?

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

in reply, said, Patrick Cooper was only on the 25th of July last subjected to a private examination by the Postmaster prior to his nomination as a telegraphist at Belfast. On his being subsequently examined as to his physical condition, Dr. Browne declined to certify him as fit. Dr. Browne did not ask him what school he had been attending, but how he had been employed, and he answered, "As a monitor in the Christian Brothers' School." He was again examined in March last. Mrs. Cooper was informed by the Postmaster on the 5th April last that Dr. Browne did not question that her son's general health was satisfactory; but that, on account of a tendency to an affection of the lungs, he could not be recommended for the appointment. Certificates were received from Dr. Cuming and Dr. Dempsey, but, while agreeing with the statement as to general health, Dr. Browne did not see any reason to alter his opinion. As Dr. Browne cannot furnish a satisfactory certificate, the Civil Service Commissioners will not grant Cooper the necessary certificate to qualify him for appointment. I am very sorry for the young man's disappointment; but the hon. Member will see that it is not in my power to afford him any assistance.