HC Deb 22 June 1915 vol 72 cc1048-9

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused to the public for five years by the refusal of Mr. W. L. Smythe to sell or let a proper house for the sub-post office in the village of Collinstown, Westmeath; whether he is aware that, when at length the most suitable house in the village was obtained and approved by the Dublin postal authorities, Mr. Smythe succeeded in having that approval withdrawn and an unsuitable house unsuitably situated adopted in its stead, in which the post and telegraph mistress is required to work in an office seven feet six inches by four feet six inches, height of ceiling six feet four inches, and to live in a garret with ceiling only three feet high at the walls and six feet in the middle; whether the department allows premises of these dimensions to be used as a post office; whether he is aware that this house has been condemned by the district council on behalf of the public on account of its inconvenience, and by the post and telegraph mistress on account of her health, and that Mr. Smythe's reply to the latter is an order to adjust the house to its new purposes at her own expense; and whether the matter will be re-considered and the post office established in either of two suitable houses now available in the centre of the village?


I am aware of the circumstances, and as explained to the hon. Member by letter in April last, the sub-postmistress of Collinstown is unable to secure more suitable premises than those in which the post office is now being conducted. I am assured that the premises, which are of larger dimensions than those stated by the hon. Member, afford sufficient accommodation for the email amount of post office business transacted in the village. I understand that the landlord is undertaking the necessary repairs to the premises.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are two houses available in the village at the present moment? Is it usual to use as a post office a house let on a caretaker's tenancy?


There may be other houses possibly in the village, but this sub-postmistress is unable to obtain them. On my information, I should not feel disposed to dismiss the sub-postmistress.