§ Mr. BOWERMAN
asked the Postmaster-General how many overseers' vacancies have occurred at branch offices in the Metropolitan districts since January, 1912; how may counter clerks and telegraphists fully qualified for branch office overseers' duties have been passed over during that period owing to their inability to pass a test on writing or clerical duties in a postmaster's office that were formerly performed by London postal service clerks; whether such clerical tests were imposed as a condition of promotion to the class of overseers prior to January, 1912; if so, since what date; and, in view of the clerical tests now being imposed before promotion, what facilities for learning the new duties it is proposed to grant the senior counter clerks and telegraphists, the majority of whom have had little or no experience of the duties in a postmaster's office?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Five vacancies for overseers have occurred at branch offices in the Metropolitan districts since January, 1912; and three counter clerks and telegraphists have been passed over since that date because they were unable to perform writing duties. One of these three was, however, subsequently promoted. A number of overseers in the Metropolitan districts have always been employed on writing duties in postmasters' offices, and some regard has throughout been paid to clerical qualifications in making promotions to that class; but greater weight has necessarily been attached to such qualifications in recent years, owing to the transfer to overseers of work appropriate to their class which was formerly done by clerks. Applications for employment on writing duties are invited from time to time, and it is open to any counter clerk and telegraphist to apply for such employment. Advantage is also taken, when convenient, of the absence on leave of overseers employed on writing duties to afford all suitable senior counter clerks and telegraphists an opportunity of becoming acquainted with such duties.