§ 44. Mr. THOMAS WILLIAMS
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that Joseph Lythgoe, of 15, Garden Street, Mexborough, who served over eight years in the Army, including two years and nine months in the Great War, from which he was discharged as no longer fit for service, due to broken health, has been an auxiliary postman at Mexborough for four years and four months on a wage of 15s. per week, out of which unemployment contributions are deducted; that several men from Sheffield, Rotherham and district have been given permanent appointments in the Mexborough postal area during this period; and that Lythgoe has no chance of a permanency due to some Regulation; and, in view of the fact that his name is always passed over in favour of men who are wholly disengaged, will he inquire into this case and give the man an equal chance with other applicants for these posts, or at least see that his income for working is equal to unemployment benefits?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
As the reply is somewhat long, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate the main object of his answer, because this man is condemned to this starvation wage for ever unless some change is made in his favour or the Regulation altered?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I am afraid I cannot; to do so would be to repeat the answer. But perhaps I might ask you, Sir, if it was not the practice some years ago, that questions relating to individuals should not be put as "starred" questions?
§ Following is the reply:
§ The registration and primary selection of candidates for appointment to full-time situations as postmen rest with the Employment Exchanges throughout the country, and, in fairness to all concerned, candidates are obtained through this source alone, preference being given to disabled men and among those to professional ex-service men. Mr. Lythgoe's employment as an auxiliary postman does not entitle him to any preference over other ex-service men and I am afraid that he cannot be considered for a full-time post unless and until he is put forward by the registration authority. The hon. Member would appear to have been misinformed regarding the length of Mr. Lythgoe's Army service as, according to both the Army records and the man's own statement, his total service with the forces was less than three years.
§ Mr. Lythgoe's pay is in accordance with the scale laid down for the work he is at present performing and this scale was agreed upon in 1920 with representatives of the staff. I am sorry that it is not possible to pay Mr. Lythgoe at a rate in excess of this scale and that it is not practicable to increase his working hours at present.