§ 36. Mr. Lathan
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been drawn to the inadequacy of the standard rates of 49s. to 52s. per week for adult male telephonists in London, quoted in his letter of 15th April to the hon. Member for the Park Division, Sheffield; and whether it is his intention to utilise part of the revenue derived from the proposed increases in telephone charges to improve those rates so as to enable these responsible employés to obtain the necessaries of life?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
The wage rates mentioned by the hon. Member have recently been increased with effect from 27th April. Moreover, employés of the Post Office are covered by the discussions regarding the pay of the lower paid grades of civil servants which are now taking place with the Staff Side of the National Whitley Council. The matter is referred to in the answer of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a Question by the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. R. C. Morrison) on 2nd May, of which I am sending him a copy.
§ Mr. Lathan
Can the right hon. Gentleman give us any information as to the nature of the increases?
§ Mr. Mathers
When are these discussions likely to result in a settlement on an upward basis? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that auxiliary postmen in the London area are considering very earnestly whether to apply for an augmentation of their wages from the Public Assistance Committee?
§ Mr. Morrison
I cannot answer the second part of the Question; but in answer to the first part, we intend to proceed with the negotiations as rapidly as possible.