HC Deb 03 March 1893 vol 9 cc962-3
MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

I beg to ask the Postmaster General if he will inform the House of the precise nature of the conditions under which the boy messengers in the Telegraph Service attend military drill; whether the conditions were framed and imposed by his Predecessor; whether the conditions are still being enforced; and why it is considered necessary that boys in the Telegraph Service should be taught military drill?


The boys are expected to attend one drill per week, or at the most two. No drill lasts more than one hour, and under no circumstances is drill imposed as a punishment. The messengers are paid at the ordinary rate while engaged at drill. The answers to the second and third paragraphs are in the affirmative. The object of the drills, which I should describe as physical drills, rather than as military drills, is to give the messengers a smarter appearance, to make them take a pride in their uniform and keep it in good order, and generally to increase their efficiency.


Is any penalty imposed on the boys for declining to attend the drill?


I must ask for notice of that question.