§ Mr. O'GRADY
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he is aware that on the formation of the South Midland engineering district, nine third-class clerks, London superintending engineer's offices, were specially selected for service in that district, and were compulsorily transferred from London; whether he will explain the reason of such action in view of the fact that the officers concerned held Civil Service certificates for London appointments only, and were not liable for service in the provinces except for temporary periods with the usual allowances; and (2) whether, in connection with the temporary transfer of nine third-class clerks, London superintending engineer's offices, to the South Midland district, four officers only received subsistence allowances on the grounds that there were only two actual and two prospective vacancies, the remaining officers receiving the bare cost of removal; whether this period was one of exceptional pressure in London owing to the taking over of the National Telephone Company; whether there were at 1180W least seventeen vacancies on the London class, according to the Post Office Estimates, and, in addition, twelve officers of the National Telephone Company were awaiting a promised transfer to the London telephone service; and will he explain why it was not practicable, in view of these vacancies, to grant identical treatment to all the officers concerned?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Early in 1913 the formation of a new Engineering District with headquarters at Reading rendered it necessary to transfer clerical staff from London to Reading. Of the ten clerks transferred, six were at the time in excess of the authorised establishment in London owing to a redundancy of staff; and their transfer was, therefore, regarded as permanent. The other four stood against vacancies (existing or anticipated) in London, and were, therefore, regarded as on loan. The complement of the London staff was reduced as a result of the incorporation of part of the London Engineering District in the new District; and the figures given in the Post Office Estimates do not, therefore, represent the state of affairs at the time of the transfer of the staff. No vacancies existed at the time in the London telephone service for the clerks who had a promise of transfer to that Department. Every officer of the Post Office is under a general liability to be transferred if the interests of the service so require. The clerks transferred to Reading were allowed to retain the scales of pay and hours of duty proper enjoyed by them in London.