HC Deb 23 March 1900 vol 81 c183
MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether the recent order implies that it is the intention to remove senior officers from Sunday duty, and cause their places to be filled by junior officers, many of whom are recent entrants to the service; and whether he is aware that many of the senior officers have been on this duty for about twenty years, and in many cases declined promotion to higher appointments with a view to an enhanced pension, and as the enforcement of the order will have the direct effect of nullifying the pension claims of these officers in respect of their long service on this Sunday duty, will he withdraw it.


It is not intended to deprive the senior officers of Sunday duty; but several of them have been in the habit of taking duty every Sunday; and the Postmaster General felt unable to sanction the continuance of a practice injurious alike to the service and to the men. It had become necessary for other reasons to summon some of the junior officers for Sunday duty, and their duties will be so regulated that they will not be required to attend more often than on one Sunday in every five or six. When a sufficient force of these officers has been trained no officer will be allowed to attend oftener than every alternate Sunday. Twelve seniors out of a total of one hundred and fifteen men have declined to be tried on higher duties, with a view to possible promotion, but in only two cases out of the twelve has the loss of Sunday extra duty been the reason assigned for declining the offer. The Postmaster General cannot, of course, recognise any right on the part of any officer in the service to Sunday, or any other kind of extra duty.