HC Deb 28 April 1915 vol 71 cc720-2

asked the Postmaster-General why letters and par-cols sent to soldiers on active service which are returned to the Post Office as death of the addressee, are not returned through the War Office, or otherwise, to the home address of the deceased to be at the disposal of his representatives; and if he will give directions for this course to be followed in future?


By arrangement with the military authorities, letters and parcels addressed to soldiers on active service which are undelivered on account of the undeliverable on account of the death of the addressees are retained until the casualties have been officially notified by the War Office to the next of kin, and are then returned to the senders, in accordance with the ordinary rule that all undeliverable letters and parcels must be returned to the senders.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there have been many cases where no name of the sender has been discoverable in the parcel, and that in those cases the parcels have not been returned to the representatives of the addressee; and will he see that in such cases arrangements are made for the representative of the deceased to receive the parcel?


Those cases have not been brought to my notice. I shall certainly make inquiry, and I think it very probable that the course indicated by the right hon. Gentleman will be taken, though I can give him no promise.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there are a very large number of parcels that have been quite recently dealt with under circumstances such as those suggested by my hon. Friend?


No, Sir. I am not at all aware of it. On one or two occasions information has been conveyed to me of a large number of parcels, here, there, and elsewhere, but on making inquiry as to the existence of these alleged parcels they have been found, in fact, not to exist.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that until quite recently there was an immense accumulation of parcels which had not, in fact, been delivered, lying at the Post Office, and that, I believe, steps were taken to have them conveyed to the Record Office in order that they might be delivered to the personal representatives of the deceased?


Not under the circumstances detailed in the question of the hon. Member opposite.

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