§ MR. GRAVES
asked the Postmaster General, The cause of delay in putting into operation the new Postal Act; and, if he can state the time when the proposed changes will take effect?
§ MR. MONSELL
, in reply, said, the causes of delay were to be found in the magnitude of the operations which had to be carried on under the new postal system. At the present time the postal business was so heavy, particularly in London, that it was very difficult to get the mails made up in time. The great additional business which had been thrown upon the Post Office by the proposed changes had rendered necessary alterations at the General Post Office, and these were being carried on by the Office of Works with great diligence; but as work had to be carried on in rooms that were occupied during portions of the day by officers of departments, the alterations could not be completed until the second week of December. In addition to that, the duties of 1,000 officers of the Post Office would be changed on the introduction of the new system, and the work of delivery by the letter-carriers would have to be revised. Preparations would also have to be made for the reception of letters of a larger size than hitherto by increasing the size of the apertures in the receptacles. Although he had signed a warrant directing that the new system should be introduced on the 5th of October, he had not done so without misgivings on the part of some of the most experienced officers of the Post Office that he had arranged for the change to take effect too soon.
§ MR. BOWRING (for Mr. WEST)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether any means have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to reduce the charges for telegraphic messages between Ipswich and Continental stations to an equality with those made for messages between London and the same stations?
§ MR. MONSELL
said, in reply, that the charges for telegraphic messages between Ipswich and Continental stations were made either by the Submarine Company or by the Continental companies or Governments; over those he had no control, and therefore he could not assist in obtaining a reduction of the charges.