§ Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the whole of the temporary force employed at the South-Eastern District Office were demissed from duty at midnight on 24th December last; whether as a result many thousand items of correspondence which should have been included in Christmas morning's delivery were not delivered until the 26th and 27th of December; and whether officers who were not scheduled for duty were compulsorily summoned to attend for duty on Bank Holiday to clear the work left over?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The casual men referred to were sent off duty at midnight on the 24th December because it was62W undesirable to prolong further the extended attendance which they had already given on that day and through the preceding night in a state of fatigue which would have rendered it improper to have kept them longer at work. It is the case that, not in the South-Eastern District alone, it proved impossible to include in the Christmas Day delivery some of the correspondence posted on Christmas Eve, but I am unable to find that any was delayed until the 27th December at the South-Eastern District Office. In consequence of the exceptional pressure of work experienced on the 26th December it became necessary to summon for duty a number of officers who were not scheduled to attend on that day. This arrangement, which also was not confined to the South-Eastern District Office, was unavoidable in the circumstances.