§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked the Post-master-General whether, in addition to the four members of the telegraph battalion of the Royal Engineers who are employed in the Cardiff Post Office under the agreement of 1878, there are also four sappers who are allowed to perform instrument duty without any post office pay; whether the duty they perform would otherwise be allocated to civilians; and whether any later agreement exists to justify their active participation in the telegraph work at that office?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Under an arrangement agreed upon by the War Office and the Post Office in 1908, twenty Royal Engineer Telegraphists in Field Telegraph Units are attached to provincial post offices during the winter for the purpose of receiving additional training in telegraphy. The four sappers at Cardiff to whom the hon. Member refers 2827W are included in this number. They are paid wholly by the military authorities, except on the few occasions when they are employed on overtime. The understanding as regards their employment on actual duties is that, while they may be employed as substitutes for the regular staff or in times of pressure, this practice should not be followed as a general rule or as a matter of course, but rather in order to give the men the necessary experience on actual working duties with a view to increasing the value of their training.