§ Mr. BAKER
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Thomas Leake, sorting clerk and telegraphist, Portadown; whether be is aware that Mr. Leake is fourth on the seniority list at Portadown; that he was compulsorily transferred from Portadown to Westport, county Mayo, after four years' learnership; that he was re-transferred to Portadown and given to understand that this re-transfer would be permanent; and that Mr. Leake is now to be transferred compulsorily to another office, although he is the support of his parents' home; and whether, having regard to these circumstances, he will decide that Mr. Leake has a prior claim to retention at Portadown over other junior officers?
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
Mr. Thomas Leake is number 20 out of 24 on the staff at Portadown, that is, fourth from the foot of the list. Consequent upon a recent revision at Portadown it was found that two sorting clerks and telegraphists were redundant to requirements. The junior officer has already been transferred to another office. Of the two officers between him and Mr. T. Leake who are being retained at Portadown, one is a married man and the other is a householder and intends to be married shortly. Such officers are, owing to the general lack of housing accommodation, accorded preferential consideration in such cases; and as Mr. T. Leake's brother, who is also employed as a sorting clerk and telegraphist at Portadown, is a single man, I am satisfied that the arrangements made involve the minimum of hardship to the officers concerned. I regret, therefore, that I am unable to accede to the hon. Member's request.