§ MR. O'KELLY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what is the date of the Treasury Minute authorising the "scale" by which head postmasters' salaries are calculated; whether postmen, telegraphists, and clerks have recently had their "scales" of pay considerably improved, but that no alteration has been made in the mode of payment to postmasters; whether postmasters are the only class in the Post Office whose salaries and prospects depend upon circumstances over which they have no control—namely, the rise or decay of the towns they live in; and whether this state of things will be changed; if so, can he state how soon?
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
With the permission of the House I will answer this question. There is no Treasury Minute upon the subject. Postmasters are not paid upon a rising scale of salary, but according to the duties they perform. Their salaries are re-adjusted when necessary in accordance with the growth of business at their respective 1665 offices, and the consequent increase of their work and their staff; but it is not the practice to make a reduction of salary in cases in which the business, and therefore the work, has actually diminished. They are advanced to better posts according to their seniority and merit; and vacancies are notified in a weekly circular, so that those who desire to apply for them may do so, and their respective claims are carefully considered. I see no reason to alter this practice.