§ Mr. HENRY TERRELL
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the hours of public business at the head post office and principal branch office in the city and county borough of Gloucester have been shortened without any prior communication with the local authority; whether the same course has been taken in regard to any other county borough; whether it is the usual custom of his Department to ascertain, by direct preliminary inquiry of local representative authorities, the, necessities and convenience of the general public in all such cases of proposed variation in postal and telegraphic facilities; and whether he will direct that the opinions of the Gloucester City (County Borough) Council, the Gloucester Incorporated Chamber of Commerce, the Gloucester Traders' Association, and the Gloucester Trades and Labour Council be ascertained, with a view to the reconsideration of the recent decision?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Due notice of the, change was given to the public, but it is not the practice in such cases to communicate with the local authorities. Such changes are usually made a subject of objection by local bodies, and in this, as in other cases, my decision was not taken until I had inspected special returns in detail of the work done between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., and satisfied myself that neither in volume nor in kind was it such as to necessitate attendance at the counter up to the later hour. Similar curtailments have been made in many other cases. I regret that I cannot undertake to reconsider the matter, and I have already sent replies to that effect to those of the bodies enumerated which made representations on the subject.