§ Mr. WILKIE (for Mr. Jowett)
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that in awarding gratuities to the retiring female members of the staff who were transferred prior to 1908 from the service of the National Telephone Company un-established service between 1896 and 1901 645 is reckoned in calculating the amount of the award, whilst in the case of the members of the staff who entered the service of the Post Office as female telephone operators in 1896 unestablished service between 1896 and 1901 is disregarded; if he will say why those members of the staff who have served in the Post Office from the first establishment of the Telephone Department are penalised in this respect for having done so; and whether he can see his way to treat those who entered the service as female telephone operators prior to 1901 on the same terms as new entrants who will be awarded gratuities calculated on the whole term of their service except the first two years?
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Captain Norton)
I am aware of the different treatment of the two classes to which the hon. Member refers. It was explicitly recommended by a Select Committee of this House for the reasons stated in paragraph 323 of their Report; and although I do not at present see my way to depart from the recommendation of the Committee, I am making further inquiries into the matter.