HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 cc757-8
21. Major York

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will review the postal arrangements for those troops in the forward areas in Italy, with a view to expediting the arrival of letters at the units' location?

Sir J. Grigg

I fully appreciate the need for a fast and regular mail service to troops overseas, and very extensive arrangements for such a service have been made. The working of these arrangements for troops in Italy has recently been reviewed with a representative of the Commander-in-Chief, and I have been assured that everything possible is being done to maintain a satisfactory service to units in the forward areas so far as circumstances permit. But my hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate the difficulties where troops are continually changing their locations, and where mails are particularly exposed to delay and destruction as a result of enemy action. If my hon. and gallant Friend would send me particulars of any cases in which letters seem to have taken an undue time to reach troops in Italy, I will gladly have them investigated.

Major York

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that long reply, might I ask whether the delay occurs before the letters get to the port of entry or between the port of entry and the units in the front line?

Sir J. Grigg

The assumption from my answer, I think, is that in general it is between the port of entry and the front line.