§ Lieut.-Colonel JAMES
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the case of temporary women clerks employed in the Post Office Savings Bank and now under notice; whether the majority of these clerks have persons dependent upon them; whether he is aware that the majority of them have had nine years' employment and experience; whether they are to be replaced by writing assistants at a slightly lower rate of pay, but of next to no experience; and whether, in view of the difficulty that the temporary clerks may experience in obtaining outside employment, he will see that either they be allowed to retain their posts in a permanent and established capacity, or that their contract be extended sufficiently long to give them some opportunity of outside employment?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
It is the case that a number of temporary women clerks at the Savings Bank are under notice of discharge. I am informed that only a minority of them have persons dependent upon them, and that very few have completed nine years' service; and in view of the fact that the present policy of replacing temporary women clerks by permanent staff began as long ago as January, 1921, I cannot admit that the officers now under notice have not had sufficient time in which to seek outside employment. The whole matter is, however, receiving my attention; and I will acquaint my hon. Friend with the decision which I arrive at.