asked the Postmaster-General what steps his Department takes to protect mail bags on arriving at the London railway termini where they are left for varying periods; if the railway companies are responsible for their safe custody and transport; what steps he has taken to see that such companies perform their duty in this matter; and whether a number of heavy mail bags have been stolen from one of the termini in question during the last few months?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
It is not possible to give a general reply as the local arrangements and the duties and responsibilities of the railway companies, as defined in their contracts, differ at the various termini, and are not the same as regards parcel mails and letter mails respectively. At most of the important London termini Post Office Mailguards are stationed whose duty it is to safeguard the mails pending their removal by the mail vans. There are occasional losses of mail bags by theft, but they are of comparatively rare occurrence, and I am not aware of any considerable loss during the last few months.