§ MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that for some time past endeavours have been made to compel the telegraph staff at Oxford to perform postal duties, and that they have been informed that they would be removed compulsorily to other offices in the event of the men declining to perform those duties; and whether, in view of the declaration of previous Postmasters-General, that telegraphists entering the service before 1896 are exempt from the performance of postal work, he will explain the reasons for this action.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) The telegraph work at Oxford has of late considerably fallen off, and there is consequently not sufficient work to keep the officers in the telegraph office fully occupied. Their services have therefore to be utilised for the benefit of the Department in such a manner as the exigencies of the service require. All officers of the Department are expected loyally to perform any work required of them which they are capable of undertaking; and unless some means can be found to utilise the services of redundant telegraphists at the offices where they are at present employed a transfer to another office is the only alternative.