§ MR. SEXTON
I beg to ask the Postmaster General, with regard to the arrangements for the accelerated mail service in connection with Belfast, whether the Belfast sorters at present are on duty from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., from 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., from 12.15 p.m. to 4.15 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and whether there is any truth in the report that they are now to be called upon to surrender the forenoon interval of rest, 777 and to come on duty, for the second morning delivery, at 9.30 a.m. instead of 10.30 a.m., thus increasing the total amount of daily labour from 10 hours to 11; whether, in the Delivery Department, the postmen are to be required, after the first morning delivery, extending from 6 a.m. to 9.15 a.m., to come on duty again at 9.30 a.m. (without any interval for breakfast), and to remain on duty till 12.15 p.m., this system obliging the men on wet days to remain for six hours without a change of clothing; and whether these men have to do duty again each day from 3.45 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.; and whether the sorting and delivery arrangements at Belfast will be personally examined by him, and such needful addition made to the staff as will secure the efficient discharge of the service without inflicting undue hardship upon the sorting clerks and postmen?
§ *MR. RAIKES
I am not aware of the arrangements to which the hon. Member refers, and there has not been sufficient notice of the question to enable me to receive a reply to the inquiry which I have made on the subject. The hon. Member may rest assured, however, that I will take whatever steps may be necessary to provide for the efficient discharge of the service without inflicting undue hardship upon the staff.