MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, seeing that five officers holding appointments in English post offices have been appointed to five Irish postmasterships since 1st January, 1900, an equal number of officers holding appointments in Irish offices will be appointed to vacant postmasterships in England or Scotland during the present year, so as to equalise promotion from Irish post offices; and can he state how many applications from Irish offices were received for the respective vacancies, and how many of the applicants were qualified to discharge the duties of postmaster.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Ninety-seven applications for the vacant postmasterships referred to were received from officers of the Department in Ireland. Of the persons applying, forty-six were recommended as competent to fill the vacant posts. Postmasterships are, however, filled by the appointment, irrespective of the locality in which the officer concerned may be serving, of the candidate whose claims and qualifications are considered to render him the most eligible for the vacancy. And in these circumstances the Postmaster General is unable to give any such undertaking as that suggested.