HC Deb 23 February 1949 vol 461 cc1843-6
22. Major Guy Lloyd

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction of business men is Glasgow and East Renfrewshire at the persistent delay in delivery of mails from London which are not delivered to the addressees until the afternoon of the day following posting in London; and whether he will take steps to expedite their delivery.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

I much regret that, owing to late running, correspondence carried by the special mail train from London to Scotland is not now included in the first delivery in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire. Correspondence for Glasgow is necessarily included in the delivery beginning at 11.30 a.m. Everything practicable is being done, in close collaboration with the Railway Executive, to bring about such improvement as will permit correspondence carried by this mail train to be delivered by first delivery in Glasgow.

Major Lloyd

While not in any way imputing any sort of blame to the Postmaster-General or to his Department, is the right. hon. Gentleman aware that hundreds of thousands of business men and other people in Glasgow are gravely inconvenienced by this, and may I, on their behalf, ask him to use his utmost influence with the railways to see that trains arrive at least within two or three hours of the times scheduled?

26. Mr. Skeffington

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the widespread dissatisfaction in south-east London with the late delivery of mail in the morning; and if this cannot be remedied, if he will consider a later night collection.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

I am not aware of any widespread dissatisfaction such as is suggested. I understand the first delivery of letters in south-east London is normally completed within the present standard time, namely, 9 a.m. To complete the delivery earlier or to provide a later final collection would necessitate additional calls on manpower which cannot be justified in present circumstances.

Mr. Skeffington

Is the Postmaster-General aware that a considerable amount of mail is delivered after nine o'clock when many people have left their homes, and that if the last collection has gone before they get back it means a day's delay?

Mr. Paling

I am told that that happens on very few occasions. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] At least, we have had very few complaints.

Captain Crookshank

Surely the right hon. Gentleman knows that there is grave dissatisfaction everywhere about the lateness of the first delivery in the mornings, not only in this part of London but everywhere? Surely he is quite wrong when he says that he does not know about it.

Mr. Paling

I still stick to my answer that we are not aware of any widespread dissatisfaction.

33. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Postmaster-General how many postal deliveries there are in Brighton on a weekday, and what is the latest delivery; how these deliveries compare with those in towns in Great Britain of similar size; and what is the latest time on any one day when a letter can be posted in London guaranteed to be delivered in Brighton next morning by first post, and the latest to be delivered by the second post.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

Brighton, in common with all provincial towns, has two deliveries of letters on weekdays. The second letter delivery in provincial towns commences generally in the forenoon; at Brighton at 11 a.m. Posting times in London for first delivery in Brighton on the following weekday are: 6 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. in street letter boxes; 6.45 p.m. to 7 p.m. at sub-district post offices; 8 p.m. at head district post offices. On Sundays the corresponding times are: 4.15 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., 4.45 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m., respectively. Late fee letters for first delivery in Brighton on the following weekday can be posted at London Bridge Station up to 11.50 p.m. Monday to Friday, and up to 9.5 p.m. on Sundays. Letters intended for the second delivery in Brighton can be posted at the London Chief Office, King Edward Street, or at the Mount Pleasant Post Office, up to 6.30 a.m.

Mr. Teeling

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us why, when it takes only an hour to go down to Brighton by train, all this extra time is taken with letters?

Mr. Keeling rose


Mr. Teeling

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman be allowed time to reply to my supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker

Perhaps the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) wants first to put a supplementary question to the supplementary question of the hon. Member.

Mr. Keeling

Will not the Postmaster-General add that any member of the public who walks into the Outer Lobby while the House is sitting can post a letter up to 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. and get it delivered in Brighton first thing in the morning?

34. Mr. Teeling

asked the Postmaster-General by how many have the number of post office workers, employed directly or indirectly in the delivery of letters in Brighton, been increased in the last six months.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

None, Sir.

Mr. Teeling

At a time when Brighton has some 3,000 unemployed and there is this dissatisfaction in the town about the appallingly bad deliveries from London, cannot the right hon. Gentleman do something to help the Minister of Labour to find employment for some of these people in the postal service?

Mr. Paling

I do not agree that there is great dissatisfaction in the town. There are plenty of jobs in the country at the present time for the unemployed in the towns.