§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
To ask the Postmaster-General if his attention has been called to the number of employees in the service of the engineering department of the postal telegraphs who have recently been discharged both in London and the provinces; is he aware that a number of 963 them have been continuously employed for from eight to fourteen years, and consequently had reason to believe their employment was of a permanent character; and, if so, will he state what is the reason for such discharges, and whether preference will be given to these men in the event of future engagements, and if their previous service will then be allowed to count towards pension.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) The employees to whom the hon. Member refers are labourers temporarily employed for the carrying out of new telegraph or telephone works, and necessarily when the works are completed or cannot be proceeded with for any reason their services are dispensed with. Now works will shortly be again in progress now that funds are placed at my disposal by Parliament, and preference will be given to all who have done well on previous works. Service of this kind does not carry pension.