CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - DUBLIN POSTAL STAFF APPOINTMENTS.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he has received a resolution of protest from the Dublin Postal Staff against favouritism in the promotion of two officers from other offices to high supervising positions in the Dublin Postal District; whether he is aware that grave dissatisfaction exists at the passing over of senior, capable officers for promotion to these posts, thereby retarding the absorption of redundant Post Office assistants; whether he is prepared to set up an impartial committee to inquire into the extraordinary promotion of the two officers in question, and whether he will give an assurance that no further promotions from other offices will be made in the Dublin Postal District over the heads of senior qualified officers in the latter district.

I have received a resolution in the sense indicated in the Deputy's question, and I am aware that there is regret, a regret which I share, amongst the Dublin Postal Staff, that it has not been possible to make appointments from within the Post Office to the three posts recently filled from outside. The primary consideration in matters of this sort must be the general interest of the public service, and it was necessary on this occasion, in the interest of efficiency and economy, and on the strength of official reports made to me after a special examination of the work of the Dublin Office, to find officers from outside the Dublin postal staff for these posts. I am not aware of any reasons in this case for departing from the usual procedure of judging the qualifications of officers for particular posts, and I am unable, therefore, to adopt the Deputy's suggestion to set up a Committee. I can assure the Deputy that officers will not be imported into the Dublin postal district over the heads of better qualified officers in that district.

I may add for the Deputy's information that in the last five years there have been 271 promotions (out of a sorting staff of 391) to higher posts from within the Dublin postal district, as against 17 for the previous five years. I may state, further, that while six officers from outside the Dublin postal district have been promoted to posts in the Dublin postal district since the change of Government, 69 Dublin postal district officers have been promoted to higher posts outside the Dublin postal district.

Does the Minister consider that the best interests of the service and the economy of public money are secured by importing into the Dublin district, for a particular type of work, people who have no experience of that type of work for which they are imported; and is not that the case with, at least, two of these promoted officers?

I deny that that is the case.