asked the Postmaster-General how many officers of the supervising classes in the Dublin postal district are over sixty years of age; what are the special circumstances in the Dublin postal district, as apart from the Dublin telegraph office, which necessitate the retention of the men in the former office while they have been pensioned in the latter; if he is aware of the effect of this retention on the prospects of all classes on the Dublin sorting establishment; that boys who have been called in as learners are performing sorting clerks' and telegraphists' duties but cannot obtain appointments as the result of the retention of these men, and that boys who have secured the percentage of marks for appointments to the class of sorting clerk kind telegraphist are, owing to the dearth of vacancies on that class, turned into the assistant postmen's class; and whether he will take the necessary steps to retire officers over sixty years of age whose places can conveniently be filled, and fill the resultant vacancies as well as those already existing on the higher classes, and thus effect a financial saving, prevent stagnation of promotion, and open up appointments for boys who have passed Civil Service examinations entitling them to such posts?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
The number of supervising officers in the Dublin Postal District who are over sixty years of age is four. In the present emergency all officers whose health, conduct, and efficiency continue to be satisfactory are being asked to remain in the service after the age of sixty, and the postal and telegraph staffs are treated alike. The learners at Dublin are being placed on the establishment after two years' service, and the boy messengers who have taken part in the general examination have obtained an adequate share of indoor appointments. I am not prepared to insist on the retirement of officers over sixty merely for the purpose of stimulating the flow of promotion or to fill supervising posts which are not justified by the present volume of work.