HC Deb 10 November 1971 vol 825 cc1016-7
27. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what proportion of second-class mail posted on Thursday arrives on Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Mr. Chataway

I understand from the Post Office that the proportion available for delivery by Saturday is about 84 per cent. although some of this mail is not delivered on that day because many firms are closed. The remainder is due for delivery on Monday.

Mr. Wall

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that percentage is not very good and is likely to get much worse when the new proposals are implemented? Will he bear in mind that while one daily delivery might be acceptable, people expect to get their mail in the morning before they go to work?

Mr. Chataway

There are particular difficulties about Saturday, in that there is only one delivery then, and many firms are closed and the Post Office cannot deliver to them on that day.

Mr. William Price

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how the much-maligned British postal service compares with that in other countries, particularly America?

Mr. Chataway

International comparisons are fairly difficult, but I think that there is a perfectly fair claim to be made that our postal services are the best in the western world.