40. Mr. Astor
asked the Postmaster-General whether he will consider instituting an air-mail letter-card service from the United Kingdom to the Middle East, similar 1:0 the service in operation from the Middle East to the United Kingdom?
Lack of air capacity has hitherto precluded the introduction of a light weight air letter to the Middle East. The Government has, however, now decided to increase the fixed quota available weekly for the air borne conveyance to the Middle East of troop mail and this will permit of the replacement of the air postcard by an air letter of standard weight and design. The price, including postage, of this air letter, which will be on issue at all Post Offices, will be 6d. The new service will be introduced as soon as the Christmas mail for the Middle East and beyond has been cleared. The airgraphs which will continue to receive first priority for all-air conveyance over other air mail correspondence, will remain the cheapest and normally the, most expeditious means of communicating with the Forces.
May I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer and ask him 1207 whether he is aware how very welcome this concession will be to the troops in the Middle East, especially to other ranks?