§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether, without exception, on the various occasions on which vacancies in the rank of acting postmaster have hitherto arisen on the staff of the Belfast office, a notice was duly posted in both the sorting office and telegraph departments, intimating the existence of the vacancy and inviting applications from the respective staffs; and if any exception exists in† See (4) Debates, cliii., 907–8.‡ See (4) Debates, clii., 211.1045 respect of this practice within the last ten or fifteen years, will he specify the date of such exception; if not, will he state the particular circumstances under which this practice was departed from on a recent occasion; and will he state what safeguards have been or will be introduced to protect the interests of members of long service under the present system.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) It was formerly the practice to invite applications for the duty of taking charge of vacant offices, but this is not always now done. The claims and qualifications of the eligible officers are carefully considered whether they make application or not, and the claims of officers of long service are thus safeguarded.