HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc1069-70
22. Mrs. Castle

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that two express letters addressed to the Town Clerk of Blackburn and to Mr. Roy Martin of Blackburn were posted at the House of Commons post office at 9.5 p.m. on Tuesday, 13th November, that they caught the 11.55 p.m. night mail from Euston, were off-loaded at Crewe at 5.46 a.m. on 14th November, forwarded to Blackburn at 8 p.m. that night and delivered by first post on 15th November; and whether he will consult the Railways Board with a view to ensuring that more adequate train facilities are made available for the Royal Mail in order to prevent such delays in future.

Miss Pike

I am afraid the circumstances were not as previously described to the hon. Lady. The letters should have been delivered on the morning of 14th November. They failed because the mail van which took them to Euston was delayed and missed the train. I am sorry about this, and very much regret the inconvenience caused.

Mrs. Castle

I am very grateful to the Postmaster at the House of Commons for the prompt inquiries he made into this delay and also for the anxiety he has always shown to give an efficient service to hon. Members. Is the hon. Lady aware that I have received a number of complaints from my constituency about the slowness of the postal service to the North? Does not her reply show that the facilities for the Royal Mail at Euston should be improved to enable any delays in transit to be rectified and for trains not to be missed? Does she agree that there is need for more through mail trains to Preston and the surrounding areas like Blackburn?

Miss Pike

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her words about the Postmaster here, which we all endorse. I can assure her that we are looking at conditions at Euston at the moment. There are difficulties there because of the modernisation that is going on, but we believe that things will be better when the new station is open. However, we will look into her point about the through mail service.