§ Mr. Leach
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the practice of his Department in engaging boys and girls of 14½ years Of age and upwards gives an encouragement to parents to break secondary school engagements, provides them with the means to pay any fine inflicted and handicaps conscientious parents who find posts which should be 788W available filled by less scrupulous parents; and will he consider raising the age at which he engages boys and girls?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
It is necessary to engage boys and girls for messenger service in the Post Office at the age of 14½ years because the Post Office undertakes to provide permanent employment for all such boys and girls who prove satisfactory. If the age limit were raised it would be necessary to increase the number of juveniles employed and the result would be to imperil the success of the policy of providing permanent employment. Appointments in the messenger service are, of course, intended for boys and girls from elementary schools and the Post Office does not seek to attract secondary school pupils to fill them. Other situations in the Post Office with a minimum age of recruitment of 16 years are available for boys and girls from secondary schools.