HC Deb 01 July 1890 vol 346 cc467-8
MR. LAFONE (Southwark, Bermondsey)

May I ask the Postmaster General if there is any truth in the statement which appears in this morning papers, that the telegraphists employed by the Post Office refuse to work overtime?


At the Central Telegraph Office, where the business is liable to sudden increase from unforeseen causes, it is impossible to carry on the work without overtime. Every effort is made, however, to restrict the overtime, and additions are made to the staff from time to time as the number of messages increases or additional wires are brought into operation. Less than a year ago authority was given to increase the number of telegraphists by 100, and no time was lost in training the new hands. The question of a further increase of the force is now under examination, The necessity for overtime is, I am sure, appreciated by the general body of the telegraphists, and I do not entertain any apprehension that these officers have it in contemplation to refuse to perform duties which are required in the interests of the public. They are well aware that one of the difficulties which the Department has to contend with in this matter arises out of its desire to allow those officers who are not juniors to take their holidays in the summer season of the year, and they are also aware that if overtime were entirely abolished there would be a grievance on the part of a large proportion of the staff by whom the payment for the overtime is welcomed as an additional source of income.