§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that a telegraphist stationed at the Sevenoaks Post Office recently joined the Postal Telegraph Clerk's Association, and in consequence he has been subjected to annoyance on the part of the postmaster, and that he has been refused answers to official papers, being told that if he needed anything he must apply to the association officials in London; and, whether, in view of the repeated assurances that telegraphists have full liberty of combination, the Postmaster General will investigate the circumstances with a view towards protecting this telegraphist against official displeasure on account of his connection with the men's union.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN,) Worcestershire, E.
From the full inquiry which has been made on this subject, it appears that the sorting clerk and telegraphist referred to is MR. E. D. Charman. This officer has frequently been under notice in consequence of the unsatisfactory performance of his duties, chiefly in minor matters; but the Postmaster General is satisfied that the reports made upon him by the Postmaster were not in any way due to his connection with the Postal Telegraph Clerk's Association. MR. Charman has not been refused answers to official papers, but there was some delay in communicating to him a recent decision of the Surveyor's on an application from him; when, however, the decision was communicated on the 20th ultimo MR. Charman expressed himself satisfied. The Postmaster General would regard with grave displeasure any unfavourable treatment of officers of the Department owing to their connection with any society such as the Postal Telegraph Clerk's Association and he is sure that the postmaster of Sevenoaks is well aware of this.