HC Deb 12 April 1911 vol 24 cc470-1

asked the Postmaster-General whether he was aware that there were certain telephonists in the Post Office, over eighteen years of age, being away from home, who were only in receipt of wages amounting to 10s. per week, and that they were having to be assisted by their parents financially to enable them to live; and whether he would take immediate steps to increase their wages?


For the first two years of their service, during which they are in a position of learners, telephonists are unestablished and receive wages of 10s. for the first year and 12s. for the second year. They are usually of the age of about seventeen, though some may be eighteen. The scale for established telephonists runs from 15s. or 16s. a week at nineteen years of age, to 22s., 24s., and 26s. at provincial offices.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the condition mentioned in the question is really a hardship?


No. These girls are learners; they are in the position of apprentices, and apprentices never receive fall wages. These are quite young girls.