HC Deb 26 October 1908 vol 194 cc1614-5

[...]eg to ask the Postmaster-General what are the conditions governing the employment of temporary hands in the Central Telegraph Office and postal service generally; is it the case that a number of these men, known as season substitutes, are, in accordance with certain regulations, to be dispensed with at the end of the present month; in view of the crisis of unemployment now prevalent, will he take such steps as may result in the retention of as many of these men as possible until the winter season has passed, especially having regard to the fact that it is much more economical to employ such men as substitutes against overtime, sick absence, and annual leave, than the performance of these duties by overtime by the established staff; and will he consider in this connection the need for clerks in other branches of his Department, such as the postal and engineering, which could be met by the temporary employment of some of the permanent staff of the Central Telegraph Office and so create temporary vacancies in that office for a number of men who will otherwise be unemployed until next summer.


Persons employed temporarily in the Post Office are, as a rule, engaged to meet special pressure at particular times of year, and it is made clear to them that they will not be retained when their services are no longer required. A number of persons have been employed temporarily during the past summer to meet the pressure which occurs in certain work at that season; and I am in hopes of finding employment for some of them from the middle of November until Christmas as temporary sorters. The hon. Member may rest assured that the whole matter has my sympathetic attention, and, without endorsing his particular proposal, I may say that no opportunity will be neglected of creating additional outlets which may mitigate the hardship of suspension of employment at the present season.