§ SIR G. KEKEWICH (Exeter)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether 292 his attention has been drawn to the statements made by the Staff Transfer Association on behalf of the staff of the National Telephone Company, to the effect that about 6,000 men, representing the construction staff of the company, will have to be dismissed prior to the transfer of the company's plant to the Post Office on the 31st December, 1911, and that such dismissals will be caused by works not being undertaken which appear to be necessary and desirable in the interests of the telephone service and the public; and whether the Postmaster-General will take immediate steps to see that some arrangement is come to by which the development of the telephone service can proceed uninterruptedly throughout the United Kingdom on efficient lines, so as to avoid inconvenience to the public, and the unnecessary dismissal of qualified men whose services will hereafter be required by the Post Office, and so as to provide remunerative work, if possible, for some of the men and women at present unemployed.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) The matter to which the hon. Member refers has been, and is, engaging my careful attention, and I am in communication with the National Telephone Company on the subject. I may add that I believe that many of the statements which have been made, in the Press and elsewhere, on this subject are incorrect or exaggerated.