HC Deb 10 August 1896 vol 44 cc377-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, with reference to the most recent case of promotion to the first class of telegraphists (male) in Belfast, how many members of the second class were upon that occasion superseded; what is their respective length of service; also the length of service of the individual by whom they were superseded; what was the date upon which they respectively received their final increment, according to their present class; and in how many instances since then were they passed over in promotion; whether, seeing that there are some of the present members of the first class of telegraphists in Belfast, who were raised to that class, who at no period performed the ordinary routine duties of a telegraph office, and who possess no knowledge of practical telegraphy, will he explain why this dissimilarity of treatment; and, if he will cause steps to be taken to guard against its repetition in the future?


In the recent case of promotion to the first class of telegraphists (male) at Belfast, the number of men passed over on the second class was four. The length of service of these four men is 12 years G months, 29 years, 25 years 8 months, and 25 years 1 month respectively. One of them obtained his maximum in October, 1891; the other three have been for some years at the maximum of their scale; and they have all been several times passed over—two on account of their bad records, two because they were not considered competent for promotion. The officer by whom they were last passed over has 10 years and 10 months' service. It is the fact that certain of the duties performed by first-class telegraphists do not involve the manipulation of telegraph instruments; but the performance of such duties is equally important, and certainly does not imply that the person performing them is in any way lacking as regards character, conduct, or general efficiency. In the interests of the Service, as well as in justice to individuals, the Postmaster General must again point out that it is most undesirable that questions of the kind should be raised in the House of Commons.