HC Deb 22 July 1889 vol 338 c984

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he has received any information from the telegraph authorities at Cardiff with reference to a serious block of traffic and consequent delay in telegraphic communications, which occurred in that town a few weeks ago; whether he is aware that an application for a considerable number of extra appointments, to cope with the severe strain upon the telegraphic system of Cardiff, was entirely ignored by the surveyor of the district, resulting in considerable inconvenience to the staff, and compelling the superintendents, supervisors, and test clerks to undertake instrument duties, to the neglect of their own duties and the proper supervision of the office; and, whether payment for the extra time performed by members of the staff during pressure has been allowed?

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

I received information that on a recent occasion, when the newspapers in Cardiff received telegraphic reports of an exceptional number of speeches and events of public interest in various parts of the country, there was delay because the wires and instruments were not sufficient to cope with the extraordinary amount of work which was thrown upon them at a particular period of the day; and I am having inquiry made with a view to devise means of obviating such delay on any future similar occasion. It is not the case that an application for additional force was ignored by the surveyor. On the contrary, additional force was on his recommendation authorized several weeks ago. I am assured that it is not the case that the supervising officers have had to neglect their proper duties in order to work the instruments. They sometimes give a few minutes a day to instrument work, but this must be the case in many Telegraph Offices. The Regulations provide that telegraphists shall be paid for extra duty, and I have no reason to suppose that they have been neglected at Cardiff.

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