§ 72. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the approximate number of young rural postmen and boys in Ireland now required to spend most of each day on a roadside with no official duty; what steps have been taken to prevent smoking, reading of newspapers, betting, and other vicious habits to which this life conduces; whether he will offer rewards for the learning of shorthand, a second language, or any accomplishment useful in the postal service; and, if not, if such rewards are provided locally for an efficient knowledge of Gaelic, whether he will give facilities for competitions and favourable service records to the winners?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The number of rural postmen in Ireland who have to wait for a substantial period at the terminal point of their outward journey could not be ascertained without wide inquiry, which would not be of any commensurate benefit. Huts, or other means of shelter, are provided for them. I do not think it desirable to interfere with the manner in which these officers employ their spare time, nor am I prepared to entertain the suggestion made in the last part of the hon. Member's question.
§ Colonel YATE
Instead of enlisting these boys will the right hon. Gentleman give these posts to old soldiers?