§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Sydney Buxton)
With a view to the diminution of Sunday labour under the Post Office, and to improve its conditions, I am anxious that the telegraph offices shall be opened on Sundays half an hour later than at present, viz., at 8.30 a.m. instead of at 8 am. I recognise, however, that I must have the support of the public for an alteration of the hours to which they have been accustomed, and I am, therefore, asking the county councils in England and Wales and Ireland for their views on the matter as affecting the public in their areas. I hope I may reckon on receiving the support of the House of Commons on the question. I may point out that in Scotland it is already the usual practice to open telegraph offices on Sunday for one hour only, namely, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
§ Mr. HORATIO BOTTOMLEY
May I ask the Postmaster-General whether in recommending this readjustment of Sunday hours he will endeavour to arrange for the extension of the hours of opening post offices and telegraph offices in the principal centres of population?
§ Mr. BUXTON
As far as I can I should like to diminish the hours of Sunday labour on behalf of a hardly worked staff. At the same time I recognise that the public suffer some inconvenience with regard to this matter, and I will do my best by consulting the county council to see how far I can secure public assent to what I consider is a very legitimate and proper curtailment of the hours of Sunday labour.
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
Having regard to the very large profits made by the right hon. Gentleman's Department will he consider the desirability of appointing a special Sunday staff for the convenience of the large centres of population?