§ Mr. WILES
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that on and from the 24th instant members of the supervising staff of the Central Telegraph Office have been listed for the compulsory performance of overtime on manipulative work proper to the staff they supervise; whether the men concerned have been consulted as to their willingness to perform this work in addition to their normal supervising duties; whether on a previous occasion, when it was thought that such an innovation was about to be introduced, the authorities declined to receive a deputation from the recognised association, on the ground that it was not the intention to introduce such a scheme; and whether he will suspend the introduction of the proposal until the association has been given an opportunity to lay its views before him?
§ Mr. PEASE
The employment of certain members of the supervising staff of the Central Telegraph Office in the manner indicated is necessary as a temporary expedient to meet the situation created by the shortage of manipulative staff during the War. The number of volunteers was not sufficient to admit of the arrangement being maintained on a purely voluntary basis. The Staff Association were informed beforehand of the necessity for the measure, and it is open to them to make further representations on the subject if they so desire. My right hon. Friend is sorry he would not be justified in suspending the introduction of the change.