§ 51. Mr. BAKER
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that Mr. R. R. Montague is an applicant for employment as a skilled telegraphist in the Bristol Post Office; that Mr. Montague joined the service of the Marconi Company at the age of 17 years on 29th October, 1917, and was appointed to the sea-going staff on 13th September, 1918; that he was attested at Whitehall on 13th June, 1918; that owing to the important nature of his service as a wireless operator on the Steamship "Clan Maclaren" he was not called up for service with the Forces; and that Mr. Montague is held to be ineligible for an appointment to the established staff of the Post Office on the ground that he was not called to the colours; and whether, in view of the shortage of skilled telegraphists and having regard to the nature elf the service rendered by Mr. Montague, he will reconsider the decision?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
I am aware of the case to which the hon. Member refers. There is no shortage of skilled telegraphists, and there is a long waiting list of qualified ex-service men seeking permanent employment in the Post Office in that capacity. Mr. Montague is not an ex-service man, and, in the circumstances described, I can find no grounds for treating him exceptionally. It may be possible, however, to give him temporary employment at Bristol for a short time.
§ Mr. J. C. GOULD
Does the right hon. Gentleman not admit that a man who served in the mercantile marine during the War is equally as eligible as a man who served in the Navy?