§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General what is the actual charge in respect to the first-class telegraphists at the Central Telegraph Office for the expiring financial year; whether the estimate was calculated to include provision from April last for 334 first-class telegraphists, and what is the difference; what was the number of the class on 31st January, how many vacancies there are, and how long they have remained open; whether he received a petition in December from the second class telegraphists for their promotion; and whether there is anything to prevent him complying with the request contained in the memorial?
§ *MR. RAIKES
In reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that the actual charge in respect of first-class telegraphists at the Central Telegraph Office for the current financial year cannot yet be precisely stated, but it will be less than he estimate. It is difficult, in the form of an answer to a question, to give the hon. Member full information on all the points to which he refers. Since the Estimates of the expiring financial year were framed an addition has been made to the establishment of the Central Telegraph Office, and the authorized number of the first class at the present time is 365. In this class of 365 persons there were on the 31st of January last 53 vacancies. To 34 of these I have made promotions within the last few 1023 days; and this, practically, is an answer to the petition of December.