HC Deb 04 April 1946 vol 421 cc1383-4
38 Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the average time taken by messengers to deliver a telegram from the office of receipt to the addressees' premises.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr.Burke)

As I indicated in a reply to the hon. Member on 21st February, the time taken by a messenger to deliver a telegram depends on the distance from the delivery office to the addressee's house. I have, however, had an analysis made of nearly 4,000 telegrams selected at random from all parts of the country, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the average time taken by the messenger to deliver a telegram in this sample from the office of receipt to the addressee's premises was approximately 17½ minutes.

Mr. Shepherd

Is the Assistant-Postmaster-General aware of the conditions in rural areas, where aged postmistresses, of 70 years of age, when they receive telegrams, have to go out into the street and find someone to make delivery two miles or so away? Will he consider some system of central delivery for rural areas?

Mr. Burke

I know that the position in rural areas is very difficult, and if the hon. Member will give me particulars of any cases we will look into them.

Mr. Harry Wallace

When the Minister speaks of average time, does it refer to deliveries by messengers travelling on foot, pedal cycle or motor cycle?

Mr. Burke

It is an average for all types.