§ MR. J. P. NANNETTI
To ask the Postmaster-General if he will state the number of assistant postmen, ex-telegraph messengers, awaiting appointments; their average service and wages; the number of ex-Army and Naval men who have been appointed over those men during the period from which their service is taken; if he has any official reports showing that the majority of ex-Army and Naval candidates at Dublin are incapable of performing the ordinary duties of town postmen after reasonable training; will he say how many ex-Army and Naval men were capable of substituting the regular walk holders last year whilst they were on annual and sick leave, and if the assistant postmen (ex-messengers) over whom those men are appointed are capable of taking up any duty on a moment's notice, and will he recommend the abolition of the Army scheme in the interests of the public service; how many ex-Army and Naval men, employed as town postmen in Dublin, were medically disqualified from the Army and Navy; how many of those men are in receipt of pensions, and, in the interests of the public service, will he discontinue the employment of those men; and will he say how many ex-Army and Naval men, employed as town postmen in Dublin, are competent in setting in correspondence on heavy commercial walks.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) The system under which every other postman's place has to be offered to an ex-soldier or ex-sailor was instituted some years ago for national reasons; and I cannot discontinue the system even if I desired to do so. To obtain the detailed information asked for would entail much expense and trouble.