§ Mr. CAIRNS
asked the Postmaster-General whether he has found it difficult to persuade efficient telegraphists to volunteer for the special event work at Ascot, Henley, and other race meetings; whether the difficulty has been due to the failure of the Post Office to increase the subsistence rates in accordance with the increased cost of living; whether pending a settlement with the trade union he has agreed to increase the rate per diem from 12s. to 18s.; whether he has proposed to employ telegraphists serving with the Royal Engineers for the meeting at Henley and similar events in order to overcome the necessity to pay increased rates to the civilian staff; and whether, in view of the definite declaration of the Government that soldiers shall not be used in competition with civilian labour, he will cancel the proposed arrangements and offer his civilian staff a rate of payment adequate to the increased expense which must be incurred at all such meetings?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
There has been difficulty in obtaining volunteers for telegraph work at special events arising from the alleged inadequacy of the subsistence allowance. The question of increasing this allowance is, at the present moment, under discussion with the association representing the staff. No proposal to employ military telegraphists as suggested has been made.