HC Deb 16 September 1915 vol 74 cc150-1
22. Sir J. SPEAR

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the dissatisfaction expressed by the friends of soldiers and sailors on active service at the high postal charges demanded on parcels sent to the men; and will he arrange to have those charges reduced?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

The reason why it is impossible to reduce the postal charges on parcels sent to the front is not primarily one of revenue, but of transport. The number of parcels sent to the Expeditionary Force in France, which was 18,000 a day in February, and between 60,000 and 70,000 in June, when I last answered a question on the subject, is now approximately 100,000 a day. The weight of parcels now transmitted to France and to the Mediterranean is about 1,000 tons a week. A reduction in the charges might be expected to result in a further large increase in the number and weight of parcels sent, and even if the difficulties of carriage by sea and rail could be overcome by the Post Office, the military authorities cannot be called upon to provide the motor and other transport that would be needed at the front. I greatly regret that in these circumstances it is not possible to meet the wishes of those who desire a reduction of the charges.


Can anything more be done with regard to the Dardanelles, where motor transport and other transport are not so relevant as in France?


Not motor transport, but the question of other transport is relevant, and the conveyance of parcels there is a matter of extreme difficulty.