HC Deb 07 August 1888 vol 329 c1834
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether he is aware that several clerks employed at the Central Telegraph Office were "drawn off" duty for the Bank Holiday on August 6, and were subsequently asked to forego their holiday and to perform duty at Tunbridge Wells; whether, with one exception, they declined to do so, whereupon their holiday was cancelled, and all of them were placed on duty from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on that day, although a number of them were entitled, in the ordinary course, to have been placed on early duties; whether putting these clerks on later duties was intended as a punishment for their unwillingness to give up their holiday; whether another holiday will be given to them in lieu of Monday the 6th instant; and, whether he will take into consideration the desirability of taking advantage of the present dull season for giving a day's holiday to those clerks who have not been favoured with a holiday this year?

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

In reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that when arrangements for releasing a portion of the staff of the Central Telegraph Office on Bank Holiday were made it was not known that it would be necessary to send so large a number of telegraphists to Tunbridge Wells. When this requirement became known it was necessary to suspend the holiday of a certain number of telegraphists in order to provide for the duties both at Tunbridge Wells and the Central Telegraph Office. The meeting was held in the afternoon; and consequently it was necessary to place the telegraphists on duty between the hours mentioned when the messages would be telegraphed. The telegraphists thus exceptionally employed on Monday last will be granted a holiday upon some other day in lieu thereof; but, so far from the present time being the dull season, it is the period of the year in which telegraphic business reaches the highest point.