§ MR. S. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he will state if it is intended by the Tweedmouth Report that double increment for sorting clerks and telegraphists at and after the age of 21 shall apply in the case of officers scheduled B, C, D, and E in the said Report?
§ *THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
The Postmaster General understands the hon. Member to refer to the double increment which is to be given in the large provincial towns in Schedule A (which have hitherto had distinct classes of sorting clerks and telegraphists) to those officers who prove themselves qualified and ready to serve in future on both the postal and telegraph sides of the Department. That double increment will not 9 be given in towns under Schedules B, C, D, and E, where the officers have always been liable to perform the double duty.
§ MR. HUDSON KEARLEY (Devonport)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether prior to 31st March last the sorting clerks or Plymouth and the sorting clerks and telegraphists of Devonport were paid according to the same scale, the maximum of which was 40s. per week; whether the maximum pay of the former has now been raised to 52s. and the latter to 44s. only; whether he is aware that the sorting clerks and telegraphists at Devonport perform counter and telegraph duties in addition to sorting duties, which are alone performed by sorting clerks at Plymouth; and, whether he will investigate the local circumstances so that the Devonport clerks may receive pay and treatment equal to that conceded to the Plymouth staff?
§ *MR. HANBURY
Prior to the 31st March last the maximum pay for the separate classes of sorting clerks and telegraphists at Plymouth was 52s., whereas the maximum pay of the amalgamated class at Devonport was 40s. The men were divided into two classes at Plymouth, the lower rising to 40s. and the higher to 52s., while at Devonport they formed only one class, rising to 40s. Under the Tweedmouth Scheme the two classes at Plymouth were thrown into one the maximum pay remaining at 52s., while the maximum at Devonport was raised from 40s. to 44s. It is the case that the sorting clerks and telegraphists at Devonport perform counter and telegraph duties in addition to sorting duties, while the great majority of the sorting clerks at Plymouth, though they take part in the counter duties, are not called upon to perform telegraph duties. But new entrants at Plymouth are now required to perform all the duties mentioned. The difference in pay is based upon the difference in the amount and importance of the business at the two offices, and it would be contrary to the approved system of classifying offices to raise Devonport to the same category as Plymouth.