asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the National Guild of Telephonists, representing the female members of the Post Office telephone staff, has been promised official recognition when 40 per cent. of the female telephonists are members of the Guild; that the members are prohibited from trying to increase the membership by canvassing and collecting subscriptions on official premises; and whether he will consider according to them the same privileges in these respects as are enjoyed by the male staff, so that they may be enabled to attain the membership necessary to qualify them for official recognition?
The facilities to which the hon. Member refers are granted to all staff associations in the Post Office in respect of those grades which they are officially recognised as representing, but in fairness to other associations I am not prepared to grant them to an association in respect of a grade which it is not qualified to represent. The National Guild of Telephonists is officially recognised in respect of male telephonists, but not in respect of female telephonists, who are represented by another association and only a small proportion of whom are, I understand, members of the guild.