§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he can state the annual rent of the premises at present used as the post office in Carlow, and also the annual cost for the past eight years of keeping them in repair; whether he has seen the medical sanitary officers' report of their insanitary condition; whether there are 10 employees of the post office engaged by day, and many of them for most of the night, to the great danger of their health, and the health of the general public who have to visit these insanitary premises; and whether it is proposed to spend public money in altering and adding to these old houses in order to fit them for the postal business of Carlow; and, if so, whether he will take care to satisfy himself that there would be any economy in patching up these old buildings, or whether he would 1307 consider me advisability of providing another site, and build a new office, before sanctioning the expenditure of any more money on the present office?
§ MR. HANBURY
The Crown post office at Carlow is held on a lease running till 1919 at a rent of £45 a year. Excluding some alterations and improvements made last year the annual cost of maintenance and repair during the last eight years has averaged about £29. The Report of the local medical officer, which has been seen, does not condemn the premises as insanitary, but indicates the existence of a serious nuisance in an outbuilding. A copy of the Report has been sent to the Board of Public Works, with a request that proper sanitary conveniences may be provided as soon as possible. The indoor staff numbers 11, and some of them are engaged at the office up to 9 p.m., but only one later. It is reported that when the improvements in contemplation are carried out the building will be suitable for its purpose, and that the sanitary arrangements will be satisfactory. Under these circumstances it is not considered necessary to take up the question of providing a new building. In the meantime the postmaster has been instructed to have extra flushing and cleansing done.