HC Deb 25 January 1937 vol 319 cc562-3
31. Captain Plugge

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is now able to state the causes of delay in postal deliveries during the recent Christmas season; and whether, in view of the increased demand for postal facilities during such periods, he will consider arrangements to take on an increased number of temporary employés at that time in future years?

The Postmaster - General (Major Tryon)

The Christmas mail arrangements for 1936 were based, in accordance with the usual practice, on the experience of previous years; but in spite of liberal allowance for increased traffic, I greatly regret that there was delay in certain areas. The main reasons were the unexpectedly heavy increase of traffic and later posting by the public as compared with recent years. A large access of work on 22nd December threw the arrangements at a relatively small number of offices out of gear. The pressure thereafter was so constant that the ground lost could not be recovered. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the difficulties experienced will be taken into full account in framing the arrangements for 1937.

37. Mr. Viant

asked the Postmaster-General the number of extra staff employed for the Christmas rush period for the years 1936, 1935, and 1934, and the number of packets handled for the same dates?

Major Tryon

The figures for the whole country are not yet available. In London, the number of letters and parcels posted during the Christmas period were approximately 138,200,000 in 1934, 143,700,000 in 1935 and 152,000,000 in 1936, and the extra staff employed was 10,919 in 1934, 11,967 in 1935 and 12,834 in 1936, an increase in two years of nearly 2,000. I will send the hon. Member the figures for the country as a whole as soon as possible.