HC Deb 30 June 1896 vol 42 cc387-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General—(1) whether three of the telegraphists recently sent from England to Stornoway responded to the circular issued by the Department inviting application from sickly clerks who required a change of air; (2) whether a female clerk also applied, and was to have proceeded to Stornoway, but it was found that no suitable accommodation was available, and a male clerk was substituted; (3) whether the female clerk was afterwards sent to Pitlochry, but Scottish female clerks were not offered the appointment; and, (4) whether there is any intention to offer appointments in England to Scottish telegraph clerks, male and female, for the benefit of their health?


As I stated in reply to a Question put by the hon. Member on the 27th April, the plan is being tried experimentally of inviting applications to act as relief clerks from established officers who, though fit for work, are regarded by the Post Office Medical Officers as likely to benefit by change of air. In accordance with this decision, notices were recently issued by the Postmaster of Liverpool inviting candidates for work at Stornoway. The other facts are as stated in the first three paragraphs of the hon. Member's Question. The main object of the temporary transfer of officers from England to Scotland is to meet pressure of work during the season in Scotland; and incidentally, the Department is glad to afford such officers as are not in robust health the opportunity of a change of duty under favourable conditions. In like circumstances the same policy will be pursued, should occasion arise, to transfer officers from Scotland to England to meet emergencies. The Postmaster General very much regrets that some members of the Service appear to resent an arrangement which is calculated to promote the health and comfort of such of their colleagues as are certified to be in need of change of air.