HC Deb 02 March 1909 vol 1 cc1385-6W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that, in response to a request for a Saturday half-holiday from provincial telegraphists, the Hobhouse Committee decided that, subject to the maintenance of a 48-hour week, every effort should be made to so arrange duties that as many of the staff as possible should be free on one afternoon in the week; that, in an interview with the men's executive, he consented that this should not be enforced, and that the old system of a possible early Saturday should be retained where generally desired; and, if so, whether he will explain why, during week-days, officers are listed for a split duty of two hours at Aberdeen and other places, and given time off on Saturdays in lieu?


The Hobhouse Committee made the recommendation quoted by the hon. Member, but I did not think it necessary to abolish the old system of "modifications" on Saturday which benefited the staff; that is to say, if the work happened unexpectedly on any given occasion not to be sufficient to find employment for all the staff present, the superfluous staff might be allowed to go home at the discretion of the supervising officers. But the attendance of the staff has to be adjusted to the incidence of the work. It was on that basis, and with the view of avoiding unnecessary overtime that the attendances at Aberdeen have been arranged.