HC Deb 13 May 1959 vol 605 cc1218-9
3. Mr. Patrick Maitland

asked the Postmaster-General what measures he now proposes to ensure courtesy and efficiency at post office counters.

Mr. Marples

As a first step I propose to set up a small committee to advise me whether conditions and procedures at Crown Office counters are the best that can be devised to ensure the efficient, courteous and economical transaction of public business. Both staff and customers will be represented on it, as well as the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, which has the greatest share of our agency services to other Departments.

The committee will be authorised to employ industrial consultants and I have in mind to publish its report. I shall then ask a panel of my Advisory Council to give me its views as to what action I should take in the light of the report, and I shall probably invite one or two individuals with outstanding qualifications and experience in the field of customer relations to join the panel for this purpose.

Mr. Maitland

Will my right hon. Friend make sure that the investigation takes account of the situation arising out of queues in Post Offices, particularly of those people who queue for motor car licences early in the year and those who queue for the payment of pensions and other Welfare State services over the counter?

Mr. Marples

Certainly I will. That is exactly one of the problems which I had in mind when deciding to appoint this committee.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Will the right hon. Gentleman also take into account the views and advice of the regional advisory committees in view of the fact that the problems may be different in the provinces from the very large towns?

Mr. Marples

The chairman of the committee is one of the regional directors.