§ Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
asked the Postmaster-General whether he has decided to increase the number of temporary assistants in connection with the London telephone service; if so, whether he could state the reason for this action; and whether, in view of the fact that it is considered necessary to even now employ young female operators on overtime extending at times to as late as 9.30 p.m., he would direct that the permanent force should be augmented sufficiently to cover the requirements of the service?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I presume that the hon. Member refers to the reserve telephonists, who are employed only occasionally to meet exceptional pressure. They are skilled operators who for one reason or another cannot undertake continuous employment. The question of the sufficiency of this force is under consideration. Owing to pressure of work, it has recently been found necessary to employ telephonists on overtime after 8 p.m., but in no individual case has the amount of extra duty been large. Additional night operating staff has now been authorised, and the necessity for extra duty will disappear as soon as this staff can be trained.