HC Deb 17 July 1913 vol 55 cc1426-7

asked the Postmaster-General whether Sir Alexander King is retiring from the position of Secretary to the Post Office under the age limit; and, if not, what is the cause of his resignation??

68. Mr. FELL

asked the Postmaster-General if Sir Alexander King has resigned his position at the Post Office; if so, did he do this of his own accord or was he asked to send in his resignation; and if such resignation was due to any disagreement on the subject of the wireless telegraphy contract?


Sir Alexander King, having reached the age of sixty in 1911, desired to retire at the end of last year, but I was anxious that there should be no change in the Secretaryship of the Post Office at that time, mainly because a Select Committee of this House was reviewing the conditions of service of the staff, and Sir Alexander King had an unrivalled knowledge of the numerous and complicated questions involved. At my request he consented to remain until the summer of this year. The Committee, however, has not yet reported, and any recommendations they may make are likely to raise points of difficulty. For this and other reasons I pressed Sir Alexander King some time ago to continue to hold.his office till the end of the year, and against his own inclinations he has consented to do so. The suggestion in the questions that Sir Alexander King has been asked to resign on account of his disagreement with the course taken in connection with the Marconi Contract, is, like many other suggestions that have been made, totally without foundation. There has not been at any time, and is not now, any difference of opinion between my Departmental advisers and myself on this matter. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my sense of obligation to Sir Alexander King for the skill and patience with which, during a period of two years, he has conducted the negotiations connected with the establishment of the Imperial wireless chain.