HC Deb 26 October 1908 vol 194 cc1615-7

I beg to ask the Postmaster-General what has been the number of men employed at Christmas by the Post Office in excess of the regular staff in each of the last five years.

The following Questions also appeared on the Paper on the same subject:—

MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

To ask the Postmaster-General for how many weeks at Christmastide he proposes to employ the extra staff of 8,000 men to be drawn from the unemployed of London; and what their average weekly wage will be.


To ask the Postmaster-General how many extra men have been employed by the Postal Department in London at Christmastide during the years 1905, 1906, and 1907, respectively.


To ask the Postmaster-General how many extra men have been employed temporarily by his Department at Christmas-time in each of the past three years; and how many men it is proposed to employ at the coming Christmas.

MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)

To ask the Postmaster-General what number of men will be employed at Christmas-tide in excess of those employed last year at the Post Office.


The number of extra hands employed at Christmas-tide as sorters, postmen, porters, and messengers in London during the last few years has been as follows, in round numbers:—1904, 7,000; 1905, 7,250; 1906, 7,400; 1907, 7,700; and this year they will number 8,000, a number which I hope to be able somewhat to increase by a further reduction in the overtime worked. These hands are employed, for the most part, from two to six weeks, with a certain number up to fourteen weeks. The fixed week's wage for adults for an eight-hours day was raised last year from 20s. to 24s., and besides this they will receive additional payment, apart from overtime, for the specially heavy work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I have no figures available as regards the provinces, but the total number employed will be considerable. Last Christmas, as stated by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, special efforts were made to utilise wholly unemployed men; and particular attention is being given to the carrying out of this policy for the coming Christmas. The same system will also, as far as practicable, be extended to the provinces as well.


Then we are to understand that the increased number employed this year will be 300 in London and none in the provinces.


I hope the increase will be greater in London. I have no figures as to the provinces.

*MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

What proportion will be employed a fortnight, and how many for six weeks?


I cannot give the figures offhand.