HC Deb 07 June 1972 vol 838 cc440-1
24. Mr. Charles R. Morris

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications what representations he has received from the Post Office Board seeking a subsidy to assist in financing the Post Office's postal mechanisation programme.

Sir J. Eden

None, Sir.

Mr. Morris

Against the background of the statement that the Minister has made today about the financial position of the Post Office, will he assure the House that any financial economies which the Post Office Corporation may feel obliged now to introduce will not involve its mechanisation programme?

Sir J. Eden

The reappraisal of the Post Office's overall mechanisation plans is taking place in the light of a downturn in postal traffic. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that it has nothing to do with the finances of the corporation.

Mr. Ewing

Will the Minister give an assurance that, as mechanisation advances, the Post Office will undertake a study of a more simplified method of postal coding?

Sir J. Eden

That is a matter for the Post Office Corporation to consider. I do not, however, know at present of any proposal to modify the postal code system which is in process of being introduced.

Mr. Deedes

Arising out of this Question and an earlier Question about Post Office finance, will my right hon. Friend enter the thought into the mind of his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House that the House might exceptionally be invited to discuss some of these matters before and not after the next round of increases?

Sir J. Eden

Opportunities for debate are matters for my right hon. Friend. I shall draw his attention to what my right hon. Friend has said. These opportunities will undoubtedly be assisted following publication of the Post Office's annual report.