§ Mr. JAMES PARKER
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in connection with the decision to staff the Portsmouth Dockyard branch office with men drawn from the postal side, he is aware that the whole staff of telegraphists, from which side the office was formerly staffed, are capable of performing the duties at the branch office, and that for about eight months in the year no overtime would be incurred by these withdrawals; whether there is now abnormal and almost continuous overtime performed on the postal side, and careful selection has to be made to find postal men with a knowledge of telegraphy; and whether he is satisfied that the administrative convenience was not influenced by the demand from the telegraphists for a regulation meal relief?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I am fully aware of the circumstances of this case, and I see no reason to depart from the view expressed in my reply to the hon. Member's question on 2nd June. The large amount of overtime on the postal side has been due mainly to exceptional conditions at the head office, and constitutes an additional reason for affording the postal officers a share in the more favourable branch office duties. The regulation meal reliefs have been granted to the branch office star, and the decision to man the office from the postal side was not influenced by any question of meal reliefs.