HC Deb 23 February 1888 vol 322 cc1239-40
MR. TUITE (Westmeath, N.)

asked the Postmaster General, Whether the Post Office Savings Bank business has largely increased during the last few months; whether a considerable in- crease of the Staff is now, or will shortly be, required; whether an Extra Duty Staff of 380 clerks has been working 11 hours a day since 5th January; and, whether he proposes to introduce the seven hours' system into the Savings Bank Department?

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

In reply to the hon. Member, I am glad to say that the business of the Post Office Savings Bank Department continues to show a satisfactory increase every year; but the increase last year was not of an exceptional nature, nor very much in excess of that of the previous year. It is probable that some addition to the staff will shortly be required, and the matter is now under consideration. As regards the extra duty alluded to by the hon. Member, I wish to explain that the annual computation of interest, and the preparation of the annual balance-sheet, must be completed during the first quarter of the year, and this always necessitates a large amount of extra duty during that period. If the staff were so increased as to obviate the necessity for extra duty at this time, it would be far in excess of the requirements of the Department during the remaining nine months of the year. I may add that extra duty is riot compulsory in any case, and that the daily amount is not allowed to exceed five hours. The question of introducing the seven hours' system in the Savings Bank, or in any Department of the Civil Service, is one for the consideration of the Treasury, to whom I have reported on the subject.