§ Sir B. CHADWICK
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the specific instances in a long series of very grave errors in the transmission of telegrams of Messrs. Paul Brothers, Homepride Mills, Birkenhead, on which Messrs. Paul Brothers have made written complaint to the postmaster at Birkenhead and Wallasey; whether he is aware that the postmaster has replied to Messrs. Paul Brothers on each of the following dates saying that suitable notice has been, or will be, taken of the incidents, namely, the 21st September, 12th October, 15th November, 1923, and 11th February, 20th March, 3rd and 19th 2357W April, 1924; what exactly is the meaning of the expression suitable notice, and if it implies disciplinary action; and, if so, the nature of the disciplinary action that has been taken in each case, giving the names and rank of the officials involved?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question of the 5th June. The errors to which he refers were made by officers of the rank of telegraphist or telephonist, with the exception of one error in delivery made by a boy messenger. It would be contrary to the usual practice to give tile names of the officers concerned. The notice taken of an error in a telegram depends upon the character of the mistake, the conditions under which it was made, and the degree of certainty with which responsibility can be fixed, especially as between the sending and receiving operators. In two of the cases in question, fines were imposed; in one case the officer in fault was required to perform extra duty without pay; and in the others, the officers concerned were cautioned.