§ MR. MEAGHER
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether it is with his cognisance that applications are being invited from officers serving on the London staff of the Controller of Stores for transfer to the new stores branch in Ireland, although no similar invitation appears to have been extended to the officers serving in the Irish stores branches that have been abolished; and will he, in deference to Irish opinion on the subject, abolish the present system of requiring Irish contractors desirous of quoting for engineering stores required in Ireland to tender for delivery in London instead of in Ireland, where the stores are used.
I beg also to ask the Postmaster-General whether at a conference held in March last between the engineer-in-chief to the Post Office, the Controller of Stores, and the superintending engineers in Ireland, it was decided that the stores branch of the engineering department would be taken over by the Controller of Stores, and that the clerks hitherto performing the work in the Irish districts would not be allowed the opportunity of following the work to the Controller of Stores staff; and will he say whether applications from the Irish clerks for transfer have been refused consideration by the engineer-in-chief, and, if so, on what grounds; and whether effect has yet been given to the promise that due regard would be given to the claims of the existing staff.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
The transfer of the work of telegraph storekeeping 77 in Ireland from the superintending engineers to the Controller of Stores was sanctioned by me for administrative reasons. The details of the scheme including the selection of the staff required are now being settled, and I can only repeat the assurance that I have already given in reply to another hon. Member, that the claims of all officers affected will receive due consideration. With regard to the second part of the Question. In cases where Ireland is known to be the destination of the stores, contractors would be asked to tender for direct delivery there; but in most cases it is impossible to say before hand where particular stores will be required.