HC Deb 18 July 1905 vol 149 cc1062-4

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he received, on Thursday, 6th July, a protest from the staff of telegraphists then on duty at the Central Telegraph Office respecting his charges made on that day against Post Office employees; whether he sent any reply; and, if so, will he state its terms; and, if he did not send a reply, whether he will take an early opportunity of removing the irritation which has been caused by his statement.

THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Lord STANLEY, Lancashire, Westhoughton)

I received on the evening of Thursday the 6th instant an anonymous telegram purporting to convey a request from the staff on duty at the Central Telegraph Office. I am not aware in what way the sender of that telegram was authorised to represent the views of that staff. I did not send a reply. The hon. Gentleman may not have noticed that in replying to a Question of the hon. Member for King's Lynn I expressly stated that my remarks to which he refers did not apply to the whole of the staff, and I have since repeated that statement on a public platform. They applied only to those who by speeches, letters, or circulars, attempt unduly to influence the votes of hon. Members with regard to the questions affecting Post Office wages, and to those who associate themselves with such action. I see nothing to reconsider or to modify further in ray remarks; and I can only suggest that the best way of removing the irritation is for those men to desist from conduct which the House I am sure condemns, and which, I think, entirely justified the epithets I applied to it.


DO I understand that the noble Lord persists in his charge against certain Post Office employees, that they are guilty of blackmail and bloodsucking?


I have nothing to add to the Answer I have already given.

MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

Is the noble Lord aware that a bloodsucker is a public curse?

MR. KEIRHARDIE (Merthyr Tydfil)

May I ask whether, in order to avoid the necessity for issuing such circulars, the noble Lord will consent to receive officials of the union to negotiate disputes on behalf of the men.


No, Sir.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Will the noble Lord try the experiment of working for a guinea a week and keeping a wife and family on it?


Will the noble Lord consent to receive the representatives of the men, and give them an opportunity of repudiating the suggestion?


No, Sir.

MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

Will the noble Lord either with-draw or modify his language?


No. I will neither modify nor withdraw anything I have aid.

MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)

Does not the noble Lord consider the slander on these men an insult to the Members of Parliament who support their claims? I have voted for them—


Under pressure?


And I take it as and insult.


Are not the bloodsuckers the Ministers who, in spite of public opinion being against them, stick to office and draw high salaries?

[No Answer wasreturned.]