§ 29. Sir P. HARRIS
asked the Postmaster-General what was the number of auxiliary postmen on the 1st January, 1930, and what was the number on the same date this year; what would be the estimated cost of raising their maximum to the same as established men in their respective grades; and whether he proposes to do anything to remove their grievances?
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir Ernest Bennett)
The number of auxiliary postmen on the 1st January, 1930, was 12,207, and the number on the same date this year was 12,344. These men are paid at rates which were fixed by the Industrial Court in 1927; and if they were paid at the maximum hourly rates of the corresponding established full-time postmen the cost would amount to £186,000 a year. As I informed the hon. Member in reply to his question on the 16th April the problem of part-time labour is a very difficult one, but the matter is constantly under review with the object of improving the position. In this connection I may say that it is now the practice both in London and in the Provinces to give preference for employment as auxiliary postman to ex-service men in receipt of pensions, while provision is made for assigning to auxiliary postmen annually a certain number of full-time posts. During the past three years, nearly 1,300 auxiliary postmen have been appointed to full-time posts.
§ Sir E. BENNETT
To both in varying degrees. Preference is given to regular ex-service men, and after that to non-regulars.
§ Mr. CRAVEN-ELLIS
Am I to understand that the whole of the regular ex-service men will have to be engaged before the Great War ex-service men are given consideration?