HC Deb 17 March 1898 vol 55 cc88-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether all the early duties in Belfast Sorting Office and Belfast Parcel Office, with few exceptions, commence at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., and continue with three attendances until 8 p.m.; and if there is any prospect of the near abolition of these duties, seeing that they infringe both recommendations of the Tweedmouth Committee, which the Post Office promised to carry into effect, viz.: that triple duties should be abolished, and that each officer should have nine hours clear in his own home?


There are 22 men performing early duties in the Belfast sorting and parcel offices out of a total of 60. Five of these 22 duties, however, are exceptionally light. Fourteen only are duties involving three attendances. The majority of these begin at 5 a.m. and finish at 8 p.m., and the more arduous duties are performed in rotation with the light duties. A revision of the sorting force is already under consideration with a view to arranging these attendances, as far as possible, in accordance with the recommendations of the Tweedmouth Committee, but it cannot be completed until the question of the time of arrival of the day mail from England has been definitely settled. The hon. Member is Mistaken in supposing that the Tweedmouth Committee made any recommendation in respect to triple duties. They confined themselves to the recommendation that each officer should have nine hours' rest at home.