§ MR. A. SUTHERLAND (Sutherland)
asked the Postmaster General, Whether it is the case that a late letter-box is attached to the mail train leaving Wick at 12.10 a.m. for the South; whether that box is removed whenever the train leaves Wick Station, thus depriving the intermediate stations between Wick and Golspie, where the sorting van is attached, of the advantages of late posting; and, whether he will order the sorting van to run through to Wick, and vice versâ; or, whether he will cause the late letter-box to remain attached to all trains carrying letters between Golspie and Wick?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES) (Cambridge University)
It is the case that, in order to give the inhabitants of Wick the opportunity of posting letters for the South up to the last moment, a letter-box is hung at the side of the 12.10 a.m. train while standing in the Wick Station. When the train starts the box is taken into the guard's van, and remains in his custody until it is handed over to the Post Office sorters, who join the train at Golspie. Considering that the train passes the stations intermediate between Wick and Golspie in the dead of the night, the letters that would be posted at those stations if the box were put out at each place would be few, if any, and the arrangement would be a troublesome one to the train guard, the officer of the Railway Company, who has, of course, his other duties to attend to. Except as restricted, the arrangement is not one that can be properly worked by a train guard; and it would be a costly arrangement, for which I can see no present justification, to run the sorting van through to Wick, so that there might be Post Office officials in the train to receive late letters from the public. It might, perhaps, be possible to take letters at Wick by the 8 a.m. train to the South, as is done in the case of the 12.10 a.m. train. But on this point I will have some further inquiry made.