HC Deb 06 October 1909 vol 11 cc2002-3

asked whether it has been hitherto the practice of the Department to refuse additional post office accommodation in urban areas, notwithstanding the offer of an urban council to guarantee the Department against loss on working under the Post Office Act of 1898; how many applications of this nature have been received from urban councils since the passing of the Act; how many of such applications have been rejected; and what are the grounds of such rejection?

Captain NORTON

It is not known, and could not readily be ascertained, how many applications have been made under the Act of 1898. They are certainly rare. Applications would be refused if the existing facilities were adequate, having regard to the distance from the nearest office, the character of the locality, and the amount of business to be dealt with; and if a new office were opened it would only result in undue expense and wasteful competition with an existing office. Perhaps I may be allowed to explain the purpose of the Act in question in the words of the hon. Member who introduced it. "All this Bill proposes to do is to give the urban councils and councils of boroughs the same powers as parish councils already have. There are parts of boroughs and urban districts remote from the centre of population which are unable to get these facilities, and are thus excluded from the benefits which they would get if they were separate districts." The case in which the hon. Member is interested does not appear to my right hon. Friend to be one of the kind to which the Act was intended to apply.