§ 41. Sir J. Mellor
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is now in a position further to state the results of his investigations into the dispatch and delivery of mails and telegrams for civilians and for the Forces in the Middle East; and will he explain the division of responsibility between the Services and his department?
Yes, Sir. As regards the mail services to His Majesty's Forces in the Middle East, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Reply given on 8th of July to my hon. Friend the Member for Abertillery (Mr. Daggar). The outward Airgraph service is expected to be started very shortly. I regret that owing to the very limited aircraft accommodation available, it has not so far been possible to give, in the case of civilians in the Middle East, the same air mail facilities as those afforded in the case of His Majesty's Forces. My right hon. Friend is, however, examining in collaboration with the other Government Departments concerned, the possibility of making the Airgraph Service available to and from civilians in the Middle East. Letters for His Majesty's Forces in the Middle East 1943 are transferred to the Army Post Office in this country and the despatching arrangements are made in close collaboration with my Department and the other Departments concerned. The responsibility for the civil mails rests with my Department up to arrival in the country of destination where they are taken over by the civil Post Office of the country concerned.
Telegrams to civilians in countries in the Middle East area must be addressed in the normal way to a telegraph office in the country of destination. The telegrams are transmitted by the system of Cable and Wireless Limited to the country of destination where they are delivered either by the local telegraph company or by the civil telegraph administration of the country concerned. Telegrams addressed to members of the Middle East Force are transmitted by the system of Cable and Wireless Limited from this country to the Base, where they are handed over to the Army postal authorities who are then responsible, as in the cage of correspondence, for forwarding them to the addressees.
§ Mr. Stephen
Will the Minister see that there is no waste of coal in giving these facilities to civilians?