§ VISCOUNT TURNOUR (Sussex, Horsham)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the fact that various telegraphists at the Horsham Post Office have been asked to perform telephone duties between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Sundays at 6d. per hour; whether the scales of 165 overtime payment for Sunday provide for the payment of Sunday duty at the rate of a race and a half, and the payment of 6d. per hour would mean a considerable reduction of payment; and whether he will state the reason for the action of the authorities, and whether he authorised it.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (MR. SYDNEY BUXTON, Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
In the case to which the hon. Member refers inquiry was made whether any members of the Post-Office staff, outdoor or indoor, were willing to give attendance to the telephone exchange on Sundays for the remuneration which the light nature of the duties would justify. Assent was entirely optional on their part, and if they do not wish to undertake the duty other arrangements will be made. The rate of pay for ordinary Sunday duty is a rate and a half. The reason for the action taken at Horsham was the desire to afford a continuous telephone service.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
Then are we to understand that Post-Office officials are allowed to volunteer to do work at lower rates?
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I understand that those people are paid below the usual rates, and that the right hon. Gentleman justifies that on the ground that they volunteered to do the work.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
I do not think that is the position. If it were I should be adverse to it. I will inquire into the matter from that point of view.