The Postmen and Christmas Boxes

Postmen are discussing among themselves the propriety of collecting Christmas boxes from the public this year, and there is much diversity of opinion. The matter is not so simple as it might first appear. The postmen claim that Christmas boxes are part of their entitlement of office, and the right to gather them in cannot be abolished without compensation. Should they forego the claim this year the men are afraid that, once the continuity is broken, it will be difficult to obtain as much in 1915 as they did in 1913. Thus they think it would be unwise to drop the custom. On the other hand, many of the regular postmen are at the front, and the public may not care to give to the temporary officers, and in any case, a good many people may find the existence of the war a good reason for discontinuing the gifts. Again the Christmas presents and Christmas cards this year will be much decreased, and there is a general idea that the Christmas gratuity is a recognition of the additional work put upon the postmen by this extra traffic. Christmas in any case is probably the time for postmen, the Postmaster General and the Treasury to decide on any remuneration as the public response is likely to be much reduced.

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