HC Deb 18 September 1940 vol 365 cc147-8
18. Sir Reginald Clarry

asked the Postmaster-General by what authority or arrangement certain essential Post Office services are suspended during the period of air-raid warnings; whether he is aware that in the Newport area, where regular nightly warnings, each lasting many hours, take place, the servants of his Department during such warnings adjourn their duties to proceed to a shelter, allowing the mail-bags coming into the railway station to accumulate and lie unattended on the platform; and, as this accumulation impedes the working of the railway service which is carried on without voluntary interruption, and as the delays consequent upon the suspension of the duties of this branch of the Post Office jeopardise the national war effort, what steps he is taking to improve the situation?

The Postmaster-General (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

The station at Newport adjoins the post office, and any mails have been cleared as quickly as circumstances have permitted. The rule hitherto has been for the postal staff to take cover on receipt of a public warning, but arrangements are now being made for a look-out to he kept, and work will as far as possible be continued until danger appears imminent. I understand that these arrangements meet with local approval.

Sir R. Clarry

Is the situation as outlined in the Question of general application throughout the country, and would it account for the regrettable delays in postal affairs during the past two or three weeks?

Mr. Morrison

The rule was general, as was explained in my original answer, but some weeks ago it was modified to the degree I have stated. The delay was mostly a matter of transport and alterations of train schedules.

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