79. Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
asked the Postmaster-General if his attention has been called to the remarks of the recorder, at the Dublin City Sessions recently, in an action against Mr. W. J. Flanagan for refusing to pay telephone charges on the ground that the instrument was useless; whether, as stated by the recorder, it is open to aggrieved subscribers to file a petition of right to recover damages for S breach of contract; and if any such petitions have, up to the present, been filed?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I must refer the hon. Member to my reply of the 11th instant to a question asked by the hon. Member for the Northern Division of Dublin county. I am not prepared to express an opinion as to the course suggested by the Recorder, which up to the present has not been followed.
§ 80. Mr. CLYNES
asked the Postmaster-General, with reference to the girl probationer class in the Manchester telephone exchange, whether the creation of this class has had the effect of getting certain work performed at a rate of 5s. a week which had previously been performed by junior telephonists at 10s. a week, or by unestablished staff at 7s. a week; and whether he will state the authority for this departure from the scheduled rates of pay recommended by the Hobhouse Committee in 1907?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The employment in the Manchester trunk exchange of five girl probationers has had the immediate effect mentioned by the hon. Member. As, however, I stated on a previous occasion, the girl probationers at Manchester are on a scale of 5s., rising by annual increments of 1s. to 8s. a week midway between the two scales quoted, and they are only employed on work of an elementary character which is adequately paid for at these rates. No alteration in the scheduled rates of pay of any class was made when the new class of girl probationers was set up in 1911; and the Postmaster-General has full authority—as the Holt Committee recognised—to allocate the work of Post Office servants.