HC Deb 18 May 1960 vol 623 cc1253-4
17. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Postmaster-General what is his policy in respect of the opening of post offices on Sunday mornings; and if he has considered the desirability of opening a post office in the borough of Leyton during such time, particularly in view of the recent Sunday morning closure of the post office in the adjacent borough of Walthamstow.

Miss Pike

Post offices are to be kept open on Sunday only where the expense involved is justified by the use people make of them for transactions which cannot be carried out elsewhere. Very few people used the Walthamstow office except to buy stamps; and, as these can be obtained from machines, it was decided to close the office last October. Telegrams can, of course, be dictated from any telephone kiosk. I feel sure that circumstances in Leyton are much the same as in Walthamstow, and that I should not be justified in opening an office there on Sunday.

Mr. Sorensen

Why did the Walthamstow post office remain open for so long before it was at last closed down? Was it because it was paying its way until that date? If not, what was the sudden reason for the decision to close the office in view of the fact that it had served the district for so long?

Miss Pike

The policy is to keep offices open where justified. This one was kept open so that we could test whether there was justification for keeping it open. The Sunday business at Walthamstow was falling away rapidly, however, and the average business was one telegram, 35 stamps, three or four registered letters, three or four savings withdrawals, and so on. In view of these figures, we decided that we must close the office.