HC Deb 26 July 1898 vol 62 cc1305-6

On behalf of the honourable Member for Cork [Mr. J. F. X. O'Brien] I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, in reference to the alleged failures of female telegraphists in Cork post office, whether at least two of those examined in May 1897, passed successfully at the first going off, and received their certificates from the Civil Service Commissioners, and the others failed in only one subject, but being examined a few months later passed also; and, in view of the fact that these telegraphists have been performing superior telegraphic duties for a long time past, some for five years and over, whether he can state the reason for the long delay in giving them their appointments on the staff; and, in regard to the principle of seniority, whether appointments will be given in priority to those who have passed the qualifying examinations at the earlier dates?


It is the fact that the temporary telegraphists at Cork all succeeded last year in passing the Civil Service examination, some in May and some a few months later, but the one officer who has served as much as five years had previously twice failed, namely, in August, 1894, and in September, 1895, in the educational examinations held by the Post Office, and it was her failure on these occasions that prevented her appointment in ordinary course some time ago. Now that the temporary telegraphists have all succeeded in qualifying, it will be possible, as vacancies occur, to appoint them according to seniority in service. I may add that these officers have been treated with exceptional consideration. Strictly speaking, their services should have been dispensed with on their failing to pass the prescribed examination.