§ MR. JOYCE
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there are seven male learners in the Limerick Post Office with services ranging from two years eight months to one year ten months; can he say when those who entered in August, 1902, and who are acting as temporary force pending revision will be appointed; whether he intends to compensate these learners for the time they are waiting appointment, or will their appointment date from the time it was necessary to create the temporary force; and whether, as regards the learners with twenty-two months service, he can hold out any prospect of appointment for them, other than the vacancies that may arise from superannuation, dismissal, or death.
I am aware of the facts, which are substantially as stated by the hon. Member. As the revision depends on the occupation of a new office and other contingencies, I regret that I am unable at present to state when 982 the learners acting as sorting clerks and telegraphists will be appointed. In the meantime, however, they receive an acting allowance which is in excess of their pay as learners, and I do not propose to give them further compensation or to date their appointments from the beginning of their temporary employment. The senior Limerick learner is at present No. 9 on the district list for employment at other offices. When the Limerick learners reach the top of the list there may be opportunities of offering them appointments at other towns.