§ MR. HEATON (Canterbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, in a recent instance, the salary and emoluments of a sub-postmaster, paid on the sub-office scale, were exchanged for a fixed office, paid on the head office scale, despite the fact that the officer concerned had accepted the appointment on the former basis, and that the new arrangement affects him prejudicially; and whether the positions and emoluments of postmasters generally are enjoyed without any other security than the favour of their superiors, and are liable to be taken away at a moment's notice, although no fault may have been committed?
§ MR. HANBURY
It is the practice of the Department, when the gross receipts of a sub-postmaster reach a certain sum, to exchange the ordinary system of payment—namely, payment by commission—for a fixed salary, and allowances far rent, assistance, etc., calculated on the head office scale. Otherwise sub-postmasters, who do not, as a rule, give their whole time to the public, would often be paid at higher rates than head postmasters, who are required to give their whole time, and who are responsible for the various sub-postmasters under them. The Postmaster General is not aware of any instance in which the arrangement has diminished the receipts of a sub-postmaster; on the contrary, care is taken, in making the change, to assure the sub-postmaster the emoluments which the office fairly secured to him. The answer to the second paragraph is, No.