§ Mr. PRINGLE
asked the Postmaster-General if he can state the number of the staff employed in the department of surveyors and assistant surveyors; what duties they perform; whether the conditions which made their appointment 1014W necessary no longer exist; and whether this department can now be abolished, and thus a saving be secured without detriment to the service?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
The number of surveyors is fourteen, one for each provincial district into which the Kingdom is divided. The authorised number of their staff of all ranks is 391, but in present circumstances many of the posts have been left vacant, or their holders are on military service. Surveyors are the local, administrative officers, acting under the secretary, and they direct and supervise postal telegraph and telephone work in their districts. The work which they perform is essential to the efficiency of the service, and could not be otherwise provided for. The hon. Member is no doubt correct in saying that conditions have altered since surveyors were first appointed—200 years ago.