HC Deb 21 August 1894 vol 29 cc159-61

On behalf of the hon. Member for the St. Patrick's Division of Dublin, I beg to ask the Postmaster General will he appoint a postal staff at the important Post Office in College Green, Dublin, to perform the postal work there? I beg further to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has received two Memorials signed by the sorting force at the General Post Office, Dublin, one asking for the abolition of the "triple duty arrangement," the other asking for an increase of risk allowance to registered letter duties and the establishment of risk allowances to other specified duties; if so, what answer is he prepared to give them? Thirdly, I have to ask the right hon. Gentleman, is he aware that the authorities at the General Post Office, Dublin, are in the habit of instructing the staff to attend for extra duty, and during its performance dismiss them at such hours as nullifies their claim to overtime payment; who authorised such instructions to be given to the staff; is the Dublin Department determined to establish an annual three duties per day, and require an aggregate daily duty of nine hours, which is spread over a working day of 17 hours, without overtime payment; and is he aware that over 1,000 Dublin daily papers were recently delayed for two days, amongst the number being The Irish Times, Freeman's Journal, Daily Express, and General Advertiser? And, finally, I wish to ask, is he aware that the supervising clerks performing overtime in the Post Office, Dublin, without receiving pay have recently been compelled to work 52 hours in the six days instead of 37½ hours in five days of the week, as laid down in the Raikes Scheme, and will he now order that they be paid; that this class is below its standard number, and that officers entitled to this promotion have declined to accept the same in consequence of the treatment supervising clerks as a rule are subjected to; and that the existing vacancies were created by the resignation of officers on this class; was it in accordance with his instructions that Messrs. Sheridan, Saunderson, and Forrest, attached to the Controller's immediate offices, were compelled to attend in the windows of the Hôtel Métropole on a Sunday to watch if any officers of the sorting force left the Post Office building for the purpose of obtaining refreshments at an adjacent public-house; and, in view of the fact that these officers would feel grateful if relieved of any similar duty in future, as the Department provides refreshments in the Telegraph Branch for its officials, would he kindly sanction the erection of a refreshment bar for the convenience of the sorting force?


The question of providing for the duties of the Post Office in College Green, Dublin, will be considered in connection with the scheme for the revision of the Sorting Office, Dublin General Post Office, which, as I informed the hon. Member in this House on the 31st ultimo, cannot be completed satisfactorily until after the opening of the new Parcel Sorting Office. In reply to the second question, I have to say that the Memorials in question were duly received. Upon the subject of abolishing the "triple duty arrangement," I must refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question of the 4th of December last. Upon the other questions raised inquiry is being made, and I will furnish the hon. Member with a reply directly I am in a position to do so.


Will the right hon. Gentleman agree, either personally or through one of the officials in Dublin, to receive a deputation, under the same conditions as he stated apply to his receiving a deputation in England?


Yes, the Rule applies equally to England and to Ireland.