HC Deb 08 February 1956 vol 548 cc1671-2
55. Dr. King asked

the Minister of Defence if he will make arrangements whereby Service men in Cyprus may receive parcels from home by air mail at reduced rates.

Sir W. Monckton

Concessionary postal rates on mail sent to members of the Forces serving abroad and homeward mail from them are already costing the taxpayer about £1¼ million a year. I should not feel justified in making proposals which would add to this sum.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that it is taking weeks for food parcels to go to Cyprus by ordinary mail, and that a small food parcel sent by air mail is costing the mothers of Service men about £2 15s.? Will he not quicken ordinary transport or give some concession on the cost of air mail?

Sir W. Monckton

I cannot answer the question about quickening up, but as to adding to the concessionary advantages now given, it would be very difficult to single out one place and say that of all the overseas stations we should give the men there preferential treatment.

Mr. Dodds

Does the Minister not appreciate that the position has been made much worse in that the Cyprus authorities now say that they are going to search for parcels and charge Customs duty as well?