§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the Postmaster-General whether he has received a communication from the parish council of Bowerchalke, m the county of Wilts, in respect of a second daily delivery and despatch of letters in the afternoon at the village of Bowerchalke; whether he has only consented to such additional 211 delivery and despatch subject to the contribution of the sum of £18 a year by the parish towards the additional expense involved; whether Bowerchalke is the only village in the Salisbury postal district which does not enjoy, free of charge and guarantee, the above-named advantages; whether he is aware that the population of the said village consists entirely of poor people engaged mainly in the production of watercress; that the lack of such delivery and despatch involves a considerable loss of custom, especially when letters miss the early mail from Salisbury to the North of England, involving their remaining un-despatched in Salisbury for a period of twenty-four hours; and whether, in view of the fact that this small and poor village cannot afford so large a guarantee as £18 for the provision of such additional service, he can see his way to meet the demand of its parish council without insisting upon such onerous conditions?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. H. Samuel)
The application was received and answered on the lines indicated by the hon. Member, the revenue from the correspondence for Bowerchalke not being sufficient to cover the cost of the additional delivery and despatch. The sum of £18 which does not represent the whole cost) would provide an afternoon service at Broadchalk and Bishopstone as well as at Bowerchalke, as those places must be passed by the postman en route. If this amount were shared between the three places, the cost to Bowerchalke would be greatly reduced. There are other villages in the Salisbury postal district which have not an afternoon delivery and despatch. If it would be of any service to the residents at Bowerchalke, I think it might be possible to afford an evening delivery to callers at that office at about 7.30 p.m., without charge. I will ascertain the views of the local authority on this point.