Mr. T. WILSON
asked the Postmaster-General (1) if he will state the number of sorters in the London postal service withdrawn for service with the Navy and Army; and the number of temporary assistants, male and female, respectively, employed to fill vacancies created by the withdrawals; and (2) whether he will state the number of sorters and postmen withdrawn from the London postal service for military and naval duties and the percentage of eligible men withdrawn from the respective classes; and will he say if the Post Office service in London is in danger of serious disorganisation or possible breakdown owing to the demands of the military and naval authorities?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
I will answer these two questions together. The number of sorters and postmen withdrawn from the London postal service for military or naval service is about 3,400 and 6,700 respectively, representing approximately 84 per cent, and 86 per cent, of the men eligible for military service on each class. The number of temporary assistants employed on sorting duties in place of men withdrawn for service in the Forces is about 950 men and 2,200 women.1490W The postal service cannot be maintained on the highly efficient basis which existed in peace time. A scheme is being organised for addressing letters for delivery in London which will simplify the sorting if the public will take the trouble to address their letters in the way which I am, about to suggest.