HC Deb 07 May 1889 vol 335 cc1364-5
MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

asked the Postmaster General whether he is aware that an Order in Council of 1866 or 1869, with reference to sick pay, by which certain classes of persons employed in the Post Office who may happen to be absent from duty one year out of four shall cease to receive sick pay, has just been put in force in the Manchester Post Office in the cases of two telegraphists in that post office, whom the doctor cannot certify as being ill enough to be pensioned; and also that several other telegraphists in the same office, should they fall sick again, will be brought under the same regulation; and whether he will bring the Order in Council under the notice of the Lords of the Treasury with a view to its abrogation, as it has never been enforced in the Telegraph Department since that Department was taken over by the Post Office, certainly not in the Manchester Post Office.

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

The regulation to which the hon. Member refers is laid down not by an Order in Council, but by a Treasury Minute. This Minute, though dated December 17, 1860, was not communicated to the Post Office until December, 1885, and since then it has been carefully observed. Its provisions appear to me to err, if they err at all, on the side of liberality, and I have no intention of suggesting that the Minute should be abrogated. If since 1885 the rule has not come into operation at the Manchester Post Office, it is because no case to which it would apply has occurred there.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the two telegraphists to whom my question refers are supported at the present moment by contributions from their fellow employés?


I was not aware of that; but I think the most that the State can be expected to do is, that their places should be kept open for them, without giving further assistance. They have already been ill for twelve months, and have received sick pay during that period.