HC Deb 25 October 1920 vol 133 cc1333-4
Sir M. DOCKRELL (by Private Notice)

asked the Postmaster-General is he aware that during recent months Ireland has suffered very keenly through merchandise being held up by shipping disputes, and that the withdrawal of the Irish Parcel Post will in consequence be felt more severely in Ireland than elsewhere, and seeing that steamers will be kept running for passengers and mails, can he see his way to give even a restricted parcel service?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Illingworth)

Owing to the withdrawal of labour at certain Irish ports the normal routes for the conveyance of parcel mails to and from Ireland have, for some time past, been seriously curtailed. With a view to saving coal the Government have found it necessary to restrict still further the remaining services available, and I had no option but to suspend the Parcel Post to and from Ireland. I fear that with the present sailings even a restricted Parcel Post Service would be impracticable.


Is the Parcel Post still run to the North of Scotland and South of England and also to the Channel Islands; and is there not danger of the right hon. Gentleman's action being regarded in Ireland as partial?


All these services have been considerably curtailed.


If the Government is successful in the policy of extermination, will it not save the need of this Parcel Post?


Cannot some exception be made with regard to parcels containing foodstuffs? A very large number of people in this country are depending every day upon articles of food such as eggs and butter being sent by Parcels Post to England.

Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS

Would it not be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to continue the service from those ports which are still open and from which steamers are running, and to limit this stoppage to those ports the right hon. Gentleman mentioned where there is no steamer service?


I am told there is no cargo space available [Hon. MEMBERS: "Yes!"]


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in one little town in Ireland there is a loss of £500 a day through the stoppage of the Parcels Post and it is threatened with having to close the works?