§ CAPTAIN NORTON
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, seeing that the auxiliary sorters at Mount Pleasant are now being called upon to sort at the rate of 1,000 in thirty minutes, with twenty-five mis-sorts allowed, and that the majority of these men are only occupied for about forty-five minutes per week upon sorting, he will consider the advisability of modifying the test; and can he say what is the present penalty in case of failure as regards the above-mentioned test.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Auxiliary sorters are not required to sort at the rate mentioned. That rate has for many years past been regarded as the test of efficiency for the established sorting staff, but it has not hitherto been exacted from the auxiliaries. No penalty for inefficiency in sorting on the part of these auxiliaries has been imposed. It has been reported, however, that serious inconvenience involving delay to correspondence was being caused by the slow and incorrect sorting of some of them, 194 and steps have been taken by means of additional teaching and practice to afford them an opportunity for improvement. If it should be found, however, that, notwithstanding these facilities, any auxiliary sorter is unable to attain to a reasonable proficiency, it may become necessary to dispense with his services.