§ MR. J. P. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether, in view of his statement in the House of Commons during the debate on the Post Office Estimates last year, as to the lot of those telegraph messengers who, under the rule in existence, are compelled to leave the service at the age of sixteen years, he will issue instructions, that in all cases where casual and auxiliary labour is employed in the postmen's office, Dublin, ex-telegraph messengers should be regarded as having prior claim to outsiders, provided their health and character is good; and will he state the number of telegraph messengers in Dublin dismissed since the termination of the South African War, and the cause of their dismissal, and the number of telegraph messengers in Dublin promoted to be assistant postmen during the past two-and-a-half years.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) The question raised in the hon. Member's inquiry is one which I have at present under my consideration, but I may say at once that those telegraph messengers for whom permanent employment in the Post Office cannot be provided are required to leave at sixteen in order to give them the best opportunity of obtaining other employment. The same consideration makes it undesirable to continue their employment as auxiliaries, without a prospect of establishment. The statistics asked for by the hon. Member would take a considerable time to prepare and would not assist in arriving at a decision in the matter.