HC Deb 07 February 1973 vol 850 cc449-50
23. Mr. Tilney

asked the Minister of Posts and Communications what percentage of first-class official paid mail fails to reach its destination in Great Britain on the following day.

Sir J. Eden

The Post Office tells me that its quality of service checks do not differentiate between official paid and other first-class mail.

Mr. Tilney

Is it not a fact that business in provincial cities and that of hon. Members with their constituents is damaged for the same reason? Is it not time that my right hon. Friend considered whether there should be only one type of post?

Sir J. Eden

As my hon. Friend knows, there has for some time been a two-tier system. He may also be aware that about 92 per cent. of first-class letters are delivered by the next working day after posting. The Post Office is always doing its best to try to improve on this. One way in which it is going about this at present is to seek out the bad or black areas where particular weaknesses have been exposed in order to try to concentrate on improvement in those areas.

Mr. Heffer

While accepting that there are sometimes delays with first-class mail, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is also aware that in some places second-class mail could be delivered the next morning but that postmen are told not to deliver it because of this rather stupid system of having two different types of mail?

Sir J. Eden

No, I do not believe that is the case. Similar questions have been put to me before. So far as I am able to find out, no such instructions have been given to postmen.

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