§ Mr. BAKER
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether he is aware that a large number of Post Office buildings are in an unhealthy and unsanitary condition, and That his administration has been pursuing a policy of reducing the status of offices by substituting scale payment sub-offices, controlled and staffed by subcontractors, for Crown offices staffed and controlled by the Post Office itself, whereby the responsibility for these conditions is transferred to other shoulders; and whether he will give an assurance that the creation of additional town sub-offices in place of Crown offices shall cease until he has had an opportunity of investigating the subject;1567W
(2) whether he will give a list of those post offices which have been reduced from the rank of head office to that of salaried sub-office, or from the status of salaried sub-office to that of scale payment sub-office during the last 10 years; and what further reductions are contemplated, naming the towns, and stating the considerations which govern the policy of his Department in this respect?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
The reduction of the smaller head post offices to salaried sub-offices has been carried out with a view to concentrating district control in fewer centres and facilitating delegation of responsibility. The reduction of salaried sub-offices to scale payment sub-offices is, generally speaking, confined to cases where, through decline of business or other change of circumstances the work has fallen below the standard normally held to justify the existence of a salaried office. Such conversions are occasionally made on account of the difficulty of obtaining suitable premises for a. Crown office; the Post Office has no desire to transfer responsibility for unsuitable conditions to sub-contractors. I will furnish my hon. Friend with a list of reductions effected during the last 10 years. I regret that I am unable to specify or to suspend reductions that will take place in the future, as each case is treated on its merits as vacancies arise.