§ MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether appointments to postmasterships, where the salary is over £120 a year, are made upon the principle of selecting the most fitting man in the Service, having regard to rank and seniority, and without inviting the acceptance of the post before consulting the head officials at the post office in which the person so invited is employed; whether the practice has been to give notice in the weekly Official Circular of vacancies in post-masterships, so as to give an opportunity to those in the Service of sending in applications, and if such practice is still in force; and, if not, when it was discontinued; and whether it is intended to place appointments to postmasterships below £120 a year upon the same basis as those with salaries above that amount?
§ MR. RAIKES
Appointments to post-masterships are made on the responsibility of the Postmaster General, who takes such steps as he may judge proper in order to satisfy himself as to the qualifications of the person selected. It is, I think, obvious that the official superiors of any nominee must be consulted before he is offered office. The practice of announcing vacant postmasterships in the Post Office Circular and inviting candidates remains in force. In fact, there are four vacancies under advertisement at the present moment. There is no intention of discontinuing the practice, although, where circumstances appear to require it, I shall not insist upon the inconvenience caused by the long delay involved in advertisement. Neither is there any intention of altering the practice in the case of postmasterships with salaries immediately below £120.