HC Deb 21 November 1951 vol 494 cc378-80
57. Mr. G. A. Pargiter

asked the Minister of Defence whether, in view of the desirability of our troops in Korea receiving parcels with the minimum of transport delay, he will arrange for a reduced air mail postage rate for Christmas parcels.

59. Mr. Ernest Popplewell

asked the Minister of Defence the cost of providing the free air mail parcel service to the troops in Korea last Christmas time; and what would be the cost of a similar concession this year.

60. Rev. Ll. Williams

asked the Minister of Defence whether he will make similar arrangements this Christmas to those made last year to convey by air one postage-free parcel to the troops in Korea.

61. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Defence whether he proposes to make available the same special free parcels facilities for troops serving in Korea at Christmas as were given last year.

62. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Defence if he has now reached a decision concerning the suggested Christmas concession of postage-free parcels, air mail, to His Majesty's Forces in the Far East; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

The cost of last year's concession was about £37,000. We hope to repeat it this year, at an estimated cost of £58,000 if the maximum advantage is taken of it; but, as my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office explained on my behalf in the debate on the Adjournment last Thursday, certain practical transport difficulties remain to be overcome.

Major H. Legge-Bourke

Has my right hon. Friend also considered making these facilities available to troops who have been moved to Egypt in recent weeks?

The Prime Minister

We will look into that.

Mr. Ness Edwards

is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 12 months ago he regarded the concession as a cheese-paring one? Has he changed his mind?

The Prime Minister

If it were then a cheeseparing one, at any rate the right hon. Gentleman should be satisfied that this time less cheese is pared, so that the sum is much greater. On the other hand, he may have his anxieties as to whether it is not a sign of the rise in the general cost of living in all directions.

Mr. Ness Edwards

One could understand the right hon. Gentleman's reply if he had really agreed to provide more than one free air parcel.

Mr. Pargiter

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that nothing whatever stands in the way of these parcels reaching our troops by Christmas, because there is some alarm about possible transport delays?

The Prime Minister

We shall do our best to carry out the policy indicated.

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