HC Deb 24 March 1898 vol 55 cc761-2

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, if he is aware that the Tweedmouth Committee recommended for postmen a continuous duty, or only two attendances; whether he is aware that at the present time in some of the small amalgamated offices clerks are compelled to make four and five attendances in one day; whether he will get a Return of these offices where these duties exist with a view to the reduction of these attendances; and if he will state the number of hours the eight hours per day is supposed to cover?


It is not the case that the Tweedmouth Committee recommended for postmen a continuous duty or only two attendances. The Postmaster General is not aware of any specific cases where clerks at small amalgamated offices are compelled to make four or five attendances in one day, but it is probable that such an arrangement may exist. The Tweedmouth Committee, in recommending that the number of attendances should as far as possible be reduced, recognised that in the case of the smaller provincial towns, where the staff reside within easy reach of their office, the pressure of split duties is less severe than in London and at the larger provincial towns, and the extent of their recommendation in this matter was that while each split duty should be considered on its own merits it should be the invariable rule that such duties should be so arranged that the officer performing them may enjoy during each 24 hours nine clear unbroken hours at his own home. This rule is being introduced wherever attention is drawn to its non-observance, and in these circumstances it is not necessary to get the return suggested by the hon. Member.