HC Deb 05 June 1924 vol 174 cc1463-4
84. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

asked the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that at salaried sub-offices where the official residence and the telephone exchange are in the same building, it is an essential condition of appointment that the salaried sub-postmaster is responsible, in addition to his or her normal duty of 48 hours weekly, for maintaining the continuous service for an average of approximately 70 hours weekly, and in view of the detriment to health occasioned by such continuous service, he will consider the provision of relief at such offices or such increase in remuneration as will enable the salaried sub-postmaster to employ assistance?


The 70 hours referred to include the night hours during which the number of calls is as a rule negligible. I am, however, making detailed inquiry into the hours of duty and remuneration in these cases and will communicate with the hon. and gallant Member later.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

As long as the work is light, is it to be understood that Ministers do not mind employing men overtime without extra payment?


I have said that I am making a detailed inquiry into the hours, and I will communicate with the hon. and gallant Member later.


Have these hours been increased since the advent of the Labour Government to office?


Is it not the case that since the Labour Government have come into office men are offering themselves to work overtime for nothing?


In reply to the first supplementary question, I may say that the hours complained of are hours that were in operation before I went into office. I have been investigating the hours worked by the night telephonists, and I have already decided to make substantial improvements in the remuneration of this class of worker.


Is not this one of the cases where the Government's 48-hour Bill will effect a remedy