§ MR. STEADMAN
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster-General, whether he is prepared to take into consideration the weekly allowance made for providing a horse and conveyance to do the work 1153 of rural postmen, with a view to its augmentation, considering that two stables are required, the wear and tear of harness is very great, and remounts have to be provided for?
§ MR. HANBURY
There is no fixed weekly allowance to rural postmen for providing a horse and cart. The amount of the allowance varies according to the circumstances. The price of forage in the neighbourhood, the cost of stabling, any private earnings from the carriage of passengers, or of parcels above the weight for which the Parcel Post is available, are all elements which affect the Question. The allowances also take some account of the necessity for replacing capital, with a view to obtaining remounts and to renewing harness, etc. if periodical relief to the horse is needed, special provision for such relief is made. The allowances are constantly under revision, and the Department endeavours to see that the postmen do not suffer loss in providing for the Post Office work. It is right to say that in a certain number of cases the postmen have, for reasons personal to themselves, applied for permission to use a horse and cart, although the post has been laid out as a foot post, and the work has been quite within the power of a man on foot. In some such cases no allowance for horse keep whatever is given; in others a small allowance-in-aid has been granted, in view of some slight improvement resulting to the service.