§ MR. W. R. REA (Scarborough)
I beg to ask the Postmaster-General whether the curtailment of postal facilities in the town of Scarborough, which he has announced, is part of a general scheme of reduction; if so, whether he will state what other towns have been or will be affected; whether any exceptions to the rule are being made; and whether, before coming to a final decision, he will take steps to ensure that local opinion and convenience are consulted.
§ THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON,) Tower Hamlets, Poplar
The time during which a post 1863 office is open to the public is arranged according to the business done, and is not curtailed unless the business at the end or beginning of the period is insufficient to warrant the employment of the staff required to deal with it. The question of extension or curtailment of the hours of counter business is one which is taken up at the periodical revisions of force carried out at all offices. It is the practice in cases in which there is any question of permanent curtailment to consult the local authorities if it is thought that the change is likely to provoke much opposition. The case of Scarborough is still under consideration.
§ MR. BECKETT (Yorkshire, N. R., Whitby)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that local opinion in Scarborough is considerably averse to the proposed curtailment?
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
That, I think, is highly probable, because whenever it is proposed to curtail the hours there is naturally some local opposition, and it is really a question of the merits of the particular case. As I have said, Scarborough is still under consideration, and I may say that I desire to give every consideration to local opinion in these matters.
§ MR. BECKETT
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how long it will be before this decision is arrived at?