HC Deb 18 June 1891 vol 354 cc781-2

I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether he is aware that the discontinuance of the practice of advertising vacant postmaster-ships in the Official Circular is generally regarded by the employés as unsatisfactory; why was the old practice abandoned; and is there any objection to revert to it?

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

The practice of advertising vacant post-masterships in the Official Circular has not been discontinued. As a matter of fact, two postmasterships are advertised as vacant in the Circular of the present week. What I have done is to modify the old practice, and the modification I have introduced, so far from being unpalatable, has, I have every reason to believe, given the highest possible satisfaction. Under the old system only one promotion was ordinarily made for each vacancy. Thus, if 20 postmaster-ships became vacant in the course of the year, there might be only 20 promotions, there being, perhaps, among the successful candidates not a single postmaster. Considerable inconvenience would arise from multiplying these vacancies if each of them could only be filled by the very dilatory method of advertisement, but under the practice which I have adopted a greater number of meritorious officers can obtain promotion without any such public inconvenience. Suppose a postmastership of the value of £600 a year to become vacant, I can promote one postmaster from £500 to £600, another from £400 to £500, a third from £300 to £400, and so on. Thus, five or six promotions can be made for each vacancy. This blending together of the plan of advertisement and the plan of promotion without advertising appears to me to possess many advantages, and I have no intention of giving the practice up.