§ 14. Mr. Grimond
asked the Postmaster-General why the parcel post service has been suspended in areas where parcels are not carried by rail.
The initial plans for the emergency postal services of necessity restricted acceptance of parcels to local delivery areas. The service between the Orkney and Shetland Islands and Aberdeen and Thurso was reopened on 2nd June.
§ Mr. Grimond
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, on the whole, the public are very grateful to the Post Office for what it has done during the strike, although there was some disquiet when postal services were removed where no train services were involved? Can he now say when the service in full will be reopened, especially the C.O.D. and mail order services, which are important?
I welcome the hon. Gentleman's reference to the Post Office. I am sure I am speaking for the whole House when I say how deeply we appreciate the immense service which Post Office staff at all levels rendered during a very difficult period. May I take this occasion, in reply to the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, to inform the House that the restoration of postal services will take place as follows: to morrow, Thursday, 16th June, all the emergency restrictions on the acceptance of letter packets for both inland and overseas destinations will be removed; Friday, 17th June, all the emergency restrictions on the acceptance of parcels intended for transmission to destinations overseas by surface route will be removed; Friday, 17th June, the inland 569 parcels postal service will be reintroduced with a weight limit of 3 lb. Parcels for local delivery, including delivery in any extensions of local areas which have been made or may become possible, will continue to be accepted up to the normal weight limit of 15 lb. A further announcement about the inland parcel service will be made as soon as possible after 17th June.
§ Mr. W. R. Williams
Arising from the point made by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), will the Postmaster-General press for the resumption of cash-on-delivery postal services, especially in the Western Isles and in Orkney and Shetland, where they rely a great deal on this form of service?