HC Deb 06 April 1910 vol 16 cc427-8

asked the right hon. Gentleman if he could see his way to reconsider the decision to close the post-office of Wick at an earlier hour; and, if not, whether he will regard the proposed change as experimental, and will cause an inquiry to be made at the end of, say, six months with the object of reverting to the original hour if the change be proved to be prejudicial to the business interests of the town?


further asked whether the proposed restriction of the hours of business in the Wick post-office is in accordance with a policy which is being carried out by the Department generally, or is due to particular circumstances affecting the town of Wick; whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the commercial community there apprehend grave inconvenience and loss as the result of the restriction proposed; whether he has received and considered a memorial from the Provost and magistrates of Wick on the subject; whether, in light of the circumstances there stated, he can see his way to reconsider the proposed change, or, in any event, to limit the proposed restriction of hours of business during the fishing season; whether, if he has decided that some restriction of hours must be made in the meantime, he will regard the change as experimental; and, if it is shown that public inconvenience and loss result from it, will he authorise a return to the hours of business which have obtained in Wick for over thirty years?


It will be convenient to answer these questions together. It is the practice of the Post Office to revise as opportunities offer the hours of business at towns where they are unusually long and where the amount of work transacted is comparatively email, so as to bring each office into line with others of a similar character, and in the case of Wick the steps taken are by no means exceptional. Local circumstances are, however, taken into account, and it was in consideration of such circumstances that it was decided to keep the Wick office open till 9 p.m., instead of 8 p.m., during the summer months. I will cause inquiry to be made as desired by the hon. Members when the new system has been in operation for a time.