§ MR. SALT (Stafford)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether arrangements can be made by which the appointment of local and rural messengers, and of postmasters in the small offices may become a portion of the purely administrative duties of the Department, instead of being referred to the Member of Parliament of the locality for the time being, so as to remove any idea of political influence in such matters?
§ *MR. RAIKES
The matter to which the question of my hon. Friend refers has not escaped my attention. I am aware that there are some, if not many, hon. Members to whom a request to nominate to the situations in question is extremely unpalatable; but I may observe that any hon. Member to whom such a request may be addressed has only to intimate his disinclination to comply with it, and the Department will at once take steps to secure its own nominee. I may add that an experiment in the direction indicated by my hon. Friend is now being tried in Ireland, and until its results are more fully 1427 ascertained, I think it better to reserve my opinion upon the general question.
§ MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman not to extend the experiment to Belfast?