§ 79 and 80. Mr. ANDERSON
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether a number of the Post Office clerical staff are now serving in His Majesty's Forces, and that promises were made to these men, before enlistment, by statements in the Post Office circular and otherwise, that the recommendations of the Holt Committee would be duly carried out, but that, in the absence of these officers on active service, the Government have refused to carry out the pledges given, notwithstanding that the money necessary has been twice voted by Parliament; whether these soldiers consider it a case of refusal on the part of the Government to carry out honourably pledges given prior to their joining the Army; and whether, in these circumstances, the Government will now introduce at once the conditions laid down by the Committee in question; and (2) whether the Post Office clerical classes have now waited for two and a half years for the introduction of the Holt Committee's recommendations, which came into force for all other Post Office classes on 2nd February, 1914; whether it has been decided that the cases of the classes affected will not be decided upon until the Government deal, after the War, with the Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service; if so, whether this means that the officers concerned may have to wait for a further period of two to four years, making a total of four to six years, during which time they have suffered financially owing to the withholding of the conditions promised; and whether, in these circumstances, the Government will now agree to introduce the conditions in question immediately without prejudice to anything that may be done later in connection with the Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. J. Pease)
No pledge was given that the recommendations of the Holt Committee regarding the clerical classes would be adopted. The Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service necessarily, has a close bearing upon the conditions of service of the Post Office clerical classes, and the Government came to the conclusion that in the circumstances they would not be justified in deciding whether or not the recommendations of the Holt Committee should be adopted independently and in advance of the decision upon the Royal Commission's Report. The expediency of adopting or rejecting the recommendations of the Committee does not appear to me to be affected by the fact that some of the men concerned have joined the Army.