§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Postmaster-General, with reference to the Wheatstone punching test at Sheffield, whether he is aware that only six hours weekly, during the football season, is scheduled for Wheatstone punching for the whole of the staff at that office; whether it has been found that the amount of work of this character is sufficient to maintain all members of the staff efficient to pass the standard of the test imposed; and whether he will provide facilities for the staff to qualify, and upon qualification in a reasonable time grant the increased pay recommended by the Holt Committee as from the 2nd February last?
§ Captain NORTON
During the football season there is a certain amount of Press work handed in regularly, and to provide for this work six hours weekly are scheduled for Wheatstone punching. Other Press work is received daily; but as it varies in amount and is often handed in unexpectedly or at very short notice, it is not practicable to schedule it beforehand. Provision for such work is made from the staff on duty at the time. There is sufficient necessary punching to enable the staff to maintain the standard of efficiency required, and special facilities for practice in official time cannot be provided for those officers who have failed to maintain their qualifications. An increase of pay under the recommendations of the Holt Committee can only be given from the date on which the officer is certified to be efficient.