§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General if he can explain the remarkable disproportions between the numbers of first and second-class telegraphists at different postal telegraph offices in the United Kingdom, and whether there is any principle regulating the maximum salaries; and particularly why Bradford has 21 first-class to 46 second-class, Plymouth 24 and Sheffield 23 to 46, and Cork 22 to 43, while Dundee has only 12 to 43; why the maximum salary is only 50s. at Dundee, while it is 52s. at Nottingham, and 54s. at Sheffield; and why, in Dundee, there are 10 first-class to 24 second-class clerks in the postal department, and some men of only six years' service have been promoted in that department, while there are efficient and well-conducted telegraphists, who have been 14 years in the service, still in the second-class of the telegraph department?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES, Cambridge University)
The number of first-class telegraphists at an office is regulated by the number of first-class duties to be performed at that office. The maximum salaries are regulated by the importance and position of each office, and the cost of living in the different towns. The hon. Member gives certain figures showing the 669 numbers of the classes at five towns. The reason why the numbers were so fixed at the last revision was because the figures represented the number of duties at that date. A continual process of adjustment is necessary as business develops, and several of these towns will come under review. Nottingham and Sheffield are much more important offices than Dundee, and this is the reason why the maxima are greater there. I am advised that the duties on the postal side at Dundee require the higher appointments, and that the vacancies occurred on the postal side.