HL Deb 14 August 1883 vol 283 cc453-4

asked Her Majesty's Government, now that the postal parcel system is established, Whether the post messengers in the rural districts will be supplied with carts and horses? He would impress upon the Government that it was an important matter to the rural districts that these things should be supplied; for if they were not, it would cause a great deal of inconvenience to the public. He hoped, therefore, that he would receive a favourable answer in regard to it.


, in reply, said, that the Postmaster General had given his very serious attention to that subject, having gone into all its details. Considering the short time that the new system had been in operation, he (Lord Thurlow) thought they might congratulate themselves on the smoothness with which it worked. It was not the practice of the Post Office to supply carts and horses to the rural letter carriers; but it was its practice, in individual instances, each of which was considered on its own merits, to make an allowance of money, by which the rural letter carriers could provide themselves with horses and carts, partly for their own convenience, and partly for the service of the mails. But it was not possible, in that matter, to lay down any general rule, because circumstances varied so essentially in each particular case. The distances, the population, the number of parcels to be carried, and other points had to be considered. But the whole subject was receiving the attention of the Post Office authorities; and although there were, and must be, cases of hardship to individuals, he thought that the noble Lord opposite (Lord Lamington) might rest assured that those cases would be reduced to a minimum.


said, he would point out that this was not a case of hardship to individuals only. Whole districts suffered from the prohibition to carry small parcels unless prepaid, and the rule ought to be relaxed. There was another rule which required amendment—namely, the one providing that a carrier might take a parcel from, but not to, the Post Office, and not from one part of their district to another. This had an almost prohibitory effect; but if the Government would consider the subject they would probably find some means of avoiding the difficulty.