§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON (Shropshire, Oswestry)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether it was intended that the Order of the Secretary of State in his Despatch No. 13 T, 25th August, 1887, for reducing the number of officers in the Indian Telegraph Department from 104 to 84, as the lowest number deemed to be necessary for efficiency, should be final; whether the Secretary of State is aware of recent action by the Government of India reducing the number of Assistant Superintendents in each grade with the effect of retarding promotion; and whether he will take steps to secure the immediate recruitment of the Department, now reduced to 74 instead of 84, up to its full strength, in order to prevent stoppage of leave and overworking of the officers in the Department?
§ SIR E. GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
The number, 84, has recently been increased to 86. This, under present conditions, is the normal strength of the Department. The Secretary of State has not received information as to any reduction of the number of Assistant Superintendents. For exceptional reasons the number of the staff has temporarily fallen to 74, but steps are now being taken to raise it to 86.