HC Deb 26 February 1964 vol 690 cc408-9
2 and 3. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Postmaster-General (1) if, in the light of his announcement of a Household Delivery Service, he will re-examine the postal delivery arrangements in the Greater London area, particularly with regard to the time of the first and main delivery;

(2) what was the average time of the first postal delivery on ordinary days in the Greater London area prior to September, 1939; and what is the average time of the first delivery in the same area in 1964.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Ray Mawby)

Prior to September, 1939, the scheduled times for the first letter delivery in London were 7.15 to 8.30 a.m.; they are now 7.15 to 9.00 a.m.

My right hon. Friend does not think the introduction of the Household Delivery Service calls for a re-examination of the arrangements for the delivery of ordinary mail.

Mr. Smith

Is my hon. Friend aware that, while his right hon. Friend's efforts to increase Post Office revenue by the Household Delivery Service deserve support, there is a feeling in many quarters that the basic postal delivery should be examined first? Is he further aware that the great majority of the working population in the London area do not receive letters before they leave home in the morning? Does he not think that this should be brought up to date?

Mr. Mawby

This is a problem we are continually studying in trying to make certain that we can do a night mail delivery at a reasonable hour. The difficulty is that we cannot start earlier delivery because the mails have not then arrived. They must tie up with mails coming from other parts of the country. If we did it in a shorter time we should have to employ many more postmen, which would add to the cost without increasing our revenue.