21. Dr. Bennett
asked the Postmaster-General why a letter postmarked Fare-ham 8.15 p.m., 5th November, 1964, whose cover has been sent to him, was not delivered on the next day to the addressees in Piccadilly; and at what time before 9 a.m. on Monday, 9th November, when it was received by those addressees, it was in fact delivered.
§ Mr. Joseph Slater
This letter should have been delivered on Friday, the day after posting, and I am sorry that because of shortage of staff in London it was not. I understand that the premises to which it was addressed are normally unoccupied on Saturday, and, as there is no letter box, it seems likely that the letter was delivered around 8.30 a.m. on Monday, 9th November.
I am glad to accept the hon. Gentleman's apology for this lapse on the part of his Department, but does he realise that a failure such as this at the beginning of the weekend means that a letter of some urgency takes 84 hours to travel 76 miles, which is not a very clever ratio for a 1964 economy?
§ Mr. Slater
It is only fair to point out that of the millions of letters which are posted each day the vast majority are delivered first thing next morning.
Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that letters from my part of Hampshire are the subject of complaints by a number of my constituents, which I am passing to him at present? Will he look into the apparent dissociation between Hampshire and London in the matter of postal services?
§ Mr. Slater
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will let me have particulars about that, apart from the case he has mentioned. I can then look into it.