HC Deb 02 March 1900 vol 79 cc1530-1

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, with regard to the statements made by the Committee on the Central Telegraph Office to the staff representatives, whether he will examine the minutes of evidence, and ascertain whether an express undertaking was given that in the event of the proposals of the Committee being accepted holidays should be chosen by seniority and spread equally over the whole year; whether he will examine the present arrangements, and ascertain whether they conform to such an undertaking; and whether he will direct that the undertaking be carried out.


It was the intention of the Committee that the choice of leave should continue to be according to seniority, but no undertaking, either express or otherwise, was given that the holidays should be spread equally over the whole year, or even over the leave period. Great difficulty, however, was experienced in recasting the whole of the arrangements for so large a force in time to confine the leave within the best eight months of the present year, and it was necessary to ask seventy-nine of the older telegraphists out of a staff of about 2,000 to take their holiday in the earlier part of the leave season instead of in the latter part. One part is practically as good as the other, and any one of the seventy-nine desiring to exchange will no doubt be able to do so. Next year it will, it is hoped, be possible to allow every officer without exception to choose by seniority, but due regard will, of course, have to be paid to the requirements of the public service.