HC Deb 16 February 1970 vol 796 cc20-1
32. Mr. Kenneth Baker

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what representations he has received from the Post Office Users Council on the reliability of the first-class postal service.

Mr. Stonehouse

None, Sir.

Mr. Baker

Is not the Minister concerned about the declining standards of the postal service? Has he seen the survey by Aims of Industry—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—which is fully supported by complaints from my own constituents, to the effect that 10 per cent. of first-class letters go astray and are not delivered on time?

Mr. Stonehouse

I think the House would be ill-advised to allow the survey of Aims of Industry, which is a political body, to guide it rather than objectivity. I would prefer to advise the House to look at the survey conducted by the Evening Standard, which came to the conclusion that the postal service was doing and is doing a good job.

Mr. Bryan

Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that the survey of Aims of Industry is dishonest?

Mr. Stonehouse

I am not suggesting that at all, but everybody knows that the Aims of Industry organisation is a political organisation sponsored by supporters of the Conservative Party. It is doing its best to embarrass this great public service by introducing political controversy into it, and that is why I would advise the House to look at some of the other surveys, in particular the Evening Standard survey, before jumping to any conclusions.

Mr. Maudling

This is not good enough. Is the Minister saying that the Aims of Industry survey is dishonest, or is he not saying it?

Mr. Stonehouse

I am advising the House not to be guided by any particular survey. I am anxious that the House should come to a reasonable conclusion and take into account other objective surveys which have been conducted.