HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 cc632-3
28. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Postmaster-General if he will increase the maximum permitted size of overseas parcels containing goods for export.

Mr. Joseph Slater

My right hon. Friend is considering how far we might be able to meet any demand for such an increase, consistent with our international obligations.

Mr. Watkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that the present limit frequently makes multiple packing necessary, to the general detriment of the country's exports? Can he tell the House what are our international obligations?

Mr. Slater

The position is that we cannot accept larger or heavier parcels for dispatch to other countries than we are prepared to accept from those countries for delivery here, except with the consent of the other postal administrations concerned. My right hon. Friend is considering how far we might be able to meet the demand.

Mr. Bryan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that seems to be an extremely good supplementary question? Can he tell us why we will not accept bigger parcels here?

Mr. Slater

There is so much that we have to take into consideration. We have been carrying out different forms of mechanisation within the Post Office to deal with the parcels service, and all these matters have to be taken into consideration before we can determine whether there shall be a change-over.