§ Sir JOHN LENG (Dundee)
To ask the Postmaster-General if he will say whether there is any recognised limit of the length of time that female learners, after becoming fully qualified, may be retained at the rate of 5s. per week before being appointed on the establishment; and whether, seeing that in several large provincial post offices there are a number of fully qualified female clerks receiving wages on which they cannot subsist, he will arrange that, until appointments are provided for them on the establishment, fewer learners will be taken into such offices.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) There is no fixed limit of time. Appointments to the establishment must necessarily depend on the occurrence of vacancies. The usual practice is not to appoint learners unless it may be expected that they will be appointed to an established post within two years. Where it is found that the occurrence of vacancies on the establishment is less frequent than was anticipated steps are taken to restrict the number of learners.