§ 77. Mr. GRIFFITHS
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in connection with the decision to end the contract in Bournemouth for mail vans and to do the work direct, he is aware that the four mail-van drivers, who have received notice of discharge, have, respectively, 25, 25, 18, and 9 years' service to their credit; and whether, in view of this long service, he will give further consideration to the possibility of retaining these men in the service?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The drivers to whom the hon. Member refers are and always have been employés of contractors. Their service with the present contractors is about two years. While I have every sympathy with their position, I am precluded from admitting that they have a claim to established employment in the Post Office, for the work will, in future, be proper to the class of postman and it is the rule that for vacancies on this class, candidates must be ex-service men who comply with certain conditions. Only one of the drivers in question is an ex-service man and though, strictly speaking, his term of Army service was not long enough to render him eligible for appointment as postman, I will consider whether the conditions can be relaxed in his favour, provided that he proves to be otherwise suitable for establishment.