HC Deb 13 July 1960 vol 626 cc1382-3
35. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement on the steps he is taking to overcome the staff shortage at the central overseas telegraph station at Electra House.

Mr. Bevins

I would refer the hon. Member to my replies of 21st June to the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) and of 22nd June to the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason). The recruitment position is now encouraging and I hope that there will be a progressive improvement in the service.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Minister aware that my constituency depends a good deal on good communications with Pakistan and that there have been some shocking delays in cables between this country and Pakistan? Is it not rather strange that in a great capital city such as London we have these very inadequate international communications? Will he not consider paying more money to the people concerned to get more staff?

Mr. Bevins

I have considered and acted on more than one suggestion. The service at Electra House is not satisfactory at present. I concede that at once. But I have arranged for the level of pay at recruitment level to be increased, I have shortened the duration of training courses and I am pressing on more rapidly with mechanisation. I am doing all that is humanly possible.