HC Deb 17 May 1934 vol 289 cc1952-4W

asked the Postmaster-General (1) what are the special reasons for departing from the normal procedure of promotion in the cases of the promotion at the London parcel section of an assistant superintendent, Mr. M. S. Hunter, No. 127 on the assistant superintendents' seniority list, to the position of superintendent, higher grade, thereby passing over the intervening grade of 60 superintendents and also of a junior overseer, Mr. E. J. C. Phillips, No. 811 on the overseers' seniority list, to the position of superintendent, thereby passing over the intervening grade of 184 assistant superintendents in addition to over 800 overseers who are his seniors;

(2) in view of the fact that the terms of the agreed report on promotion out-lines the procedure to be followed in the case of all promotions and was signed by his representatives in addition to those of the staff, what steps he intends to take to ensure that its provisions are carried into effect and that 14 days' notice of vacancies are given to enable representations to be made concerning the respective appointmnts; and why such procedure was not followed in connection with the recent promotions in the London parcel section of Messrs. M. S. Hunter and E. J. C. Phillips;

(3) whether he is aware that, in connection with the recent promotion to superintendents in the London parcel section of Messrs. M. S. Hunter and E. J. C. Phillips, the terms of the agreed report on promotion in the London postal service have been ignored by failure to notify the staff associations of the intention to fill the vacancy for superintendent, in accordance with paragraphs 7 and 12 of the promotion report, which provide that promotion lists, common to the whole of the London Postal service of officers from whom the selection for promotion will ordinarily be made, shall be kept by the central board, and that notification of vacancies which it is proposed to fill will be made to the staff in the same way as notification of revisions of the promotion list, 14 days' notice to be given?


For the successful discharge of the duties of the vacant post for superintendent, higher grade, in the London parcel section it was essential that the officer promoted should be well acquainted with the requirements of that section, and should possess qualities of an outstanding character. It was desirable also that his age should permit of his performing the duties for a reasonable period before retirement. No superintendent satisfied these requirements, and it was necessary therefore to select an officer in the assistant superintendents' grade. The vacant post in the parcel section to which Mr. Phillips was promoted had been upgraded from an assistant superintendentship to a superintendentship. The work is of a specialised character and requires a thorough working knowledge of parcel traffic conditions together with good organising ability. No officer on the assistant superintendents' grade had the necessary qualifications for the post, and in the interests of efficiency it was necessary to select for promotion an overseer who possessed exceptional qualifications for it. Although the usual notice of vacancy was given in the case of the superintendentship higher grade, it was subsequently found necessary to make both promotions under paragraph 18 of the relative promotion report which provides that the Postmaster-General retains the right to make a promotion without following the usual procedure in any exceptional case in which the public interest makes it necessary.