85. Mr. T. THOMSON
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction in business circles with the work of the foreign insured parcels service, due to the repeated non-delivery of insured parcels, the failure to secure payment of compensation, and the delay in getting any adequate replies to claims and complaints, as evidenced by the cases of insured parcel No. 4, posted at Middlesbrough general post office 12th January, 1920, addressed to Bureau of Standards, Washington, which has not yet been delivered or any compensation paid; insured parcel No. 46 to replace above, insured for £32 1s., posted 8th April, which has not yet been delivered and no compensation paid; and an insured parcel sent to France, June, 1919, which is not yet delivered and no compensation paid; and if steps will be taken to secure improved working and more courteous treatment when service fails?
§ The ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Pike Pease)
The foreign parcel post service is being carried on at present under considerable difficulty, owing to the irregularity of sailings and the disorganisation of transport services abroad; and delay in the transmission and delivery of parcels, whether insured or not, is frequently inevitable. Inquiries into complaints and settlement of claims necessarily involve correspondence with foreign administrations, which takes considerable time; and decisions as regards liability and adjustment of claims cannot be reached until the result of the inquiries abroad is known. I can assure the hon. Member that everything possible is done by my Department to maintain as efficient and speedy a service as is possible under exceptionally difficult conditions. I am having inquiry made with reference to the two insured parcels posted at Middlesbrough in January and April last; and if the hon. Member will furnish me with fuller particulars of the insured parcel sent to France in June, 1919, to which he refers, I will have the matter investigated.