§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the fact that the wording of the purchase agreement between the Government and the National Telephone Company in relation to the staff of the company is causing uncertainty amongst the employees and may check the entrance of qualified candidates during the next seven years, thus affecting the efficiency of a future Government service, he can give any definite assurance that the members of the staff will be taken into the Government service upon the transfer in 1911 provided by the agreement.
(Answered by Lord Stanley.) When, as provided by the agreement, the National Telephone Company's system is purchased in 1911 it will be necessary for the Post Office to provide a staff to carry on the service. It seems probable, therefore, that employment will be offered to qualified members of the National Telephone 1186 Company's staff whose services are necessary for that purpose. The reasonable probability of employment in the Post Office service with its many advantages will, I feel sure, be sufficient to attract qualified candidates during the next seven years; and I am convinced that any definite assurance or undertaking given now as to the transfer of staff or the conditions of service under the Post Office would be found very embarrassing by my successor in 1911.