HC Deb 20 July 1960 vol 627 c476
25. Mr. Holland

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is satisfied with the present arrangements for the exchange of mails between post offices; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Pike

I think the time has come to take a general look at these arrangements to see whether, in particular, we can reduce the amount of handling and the number of transfers that some mails now get in transit.

This requires a detailed and practical examination and my right hon. Friend has, therefore, decided to set up a study group to go into these questions. The group will include representatives from outside industry with experience in this kind of problem as well as from the Post Office. We hope that it will be able to report in about six months' time.

Mr. Holland

I thank my hon. Friend for that most encouraging reply. May I ask whether the Post Office Staff Association will be represented on the group?

Miss Pike

I hope that it will be. We intend to invite one of its representatives.

Mr. W. R. Williams

May I ask the hon. Lady whether the question of security is also involved in the study group which the Minister is proposing now? I should like some information about these very important people from outside who are being called into these joint consultations. What qualifications will they have?

Miss Pike

On the point of the security angle, this will be taken into consideration—this is a handling exercise as it were. On the second point, the names have not yet been finalised. We are anxious to get people with real experience of this.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will consideration be given to the advisability of introducing more modern methods, such as electronic conveyors and that kind of thing?

Miss Pike

Yes. Our purpose is to try to get the most modern methods available.