§ Mr. FIELD
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that several assistant clerks (new class) are employed temporarily in the offices of superintending 1365W engineers in the provinces, notwithstanding the promise given in June, 1910, that these officers should be replaced by clerical assistants at the rate of one per month; that these assistant clerks view with anxiety the increasing tendency to prolong indefinitely such temporary service, since their prospects are likely to be adversely affected thereby; whether, under these circumstances, as some of the officers have served several years as assistant clerks in the engineering department, and have therefore acquired valuable technical experience, he will consider the advisability, on economical grounds, of recommending the Treasury to agree to the retention of the services of such officers as have been actually certified by their superior officers to be qualified for such promotion by length of service and official ability by drafting them to the grade of third-class clerk, a grade only slightly superior to that of the assistant clerks; and whether, if he can give no such assurance, he can indicate a date upon which these assistant clerks might reasonably expect their temporary service to terminate?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Five assistant clerks are at present employed temporarily in the offices of Superintending Engineers in the provinces. Of these one only has served as an assistant clerk for more than two years. There is no intention of prolonging their temporary service indefinitely, and it is hoped that it will be possible to terminate it within six months at the most from the present date. I am not prepared to recommend to the Treasury that any of them should be drafted on the third-class of clerks.