MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, with reference to the recent vacancy in the Postmastership of Newtownards, what is the salary at present attached to this office, and if the vacancy was thrown open to competition amongst the eligible members of the Service; if not, why was not this course adopted, and what was the principle of selection pursued; whether the daughter of the late postmaster, upon whom the vacancy has been conferred, already held a Civil Service certificate; and, if so, what is the date of it; and if Rule 38 was duly observed in this instance?
§ MR. J. PINKERTON (Galway)
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I ask if he is aware that the late Postmaster was ill and unable to do the work for practically four years, and that for a long time before his death the business was practically managed by his daughter; also that people of all creeds and classes are in favour of her appointment?
§ MR. HANBURY
Yes, Sir, I am aware of those facts. The salary at present attached to the Postmastership of Newtownards is £110 a year. The appointment was not thrown open to the Service, as Miss Cooper, the daughter of the late Postmaster, who has succeeded her father, was reported to be fully competent to perform the duties of the office, which she had in fact discharged for some time during her father's illness. Miss Cooper holds a Civil Service Certificate, dated 19th November 1891, as a sorting clerk and telegraphist, and she had previously been employed as an assistant for several years. Memorials in 457 favour of her appointment were received from the Town Commissioners of Newtownards, and from others, by the Postmaster General, but he has no evidence that they were inspired by Miss Cooper, or that Rule 38 was in any way infringed by her.