asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the fact that the wages of postmen in the Southport district having been reduced from the previous maximum of 26s. per week to that of 25s. per week, are now lower by 5s. per week than the maximum of postmen at Waterloo, a smaller district in the same Parliamentary Division, and considering the fact that the cost of living is at least AS high as that in the latter district, as also that the population of Southport and Birkdale is rapidly increasing, he will see his way to amending this so that the maximum rate should, if possible, be equal to that of postmen in the Waterloo district, or, at the least, be increased to the former maximum of 26s. per week?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL:
I beg to refer the hon. Member to the Parliamentary Return, "Post Office (Changes in Wages, 1598W etc.)," which contains full explanation of the application of the principles of classification recommended by the Parliamentary Committee on Post Office Servants. In the case of Southport the volume of work is represented by 427 units and the cost of Jiving by the index number 97, the normal being 100. Southport therefore falls naturally into Class III., the range of which in units is from 240 to 800, and the maximum of the postmen's scale is 25s. a week, as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee. This maximum applies only to new entrants. Existing, postmen retain their old maximum and obtain their share of all the other benefits derived from the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee, namely, improvements in stripes, Bank Holiday privileges, allowance for night duty. The Waterloo district is served by postmen attached to the Liverpool office, which is included in Class I., because the units of work number over 7,000, the cost of living index number being 97. There is no scale with a maximum of 26s., and I regret that I am not able to modify the scale now-proper to Southport.