HC Deb 31 January 1929 vol 224 cc1156-7W

asked the Postmaster-General by what process postcards and halfpenny postage matter are separated from the ordinary three-halfpenny matter before delivery; whether it is the practice to withhold any proportion of the halfpenny postage matter from speedy delivery, even in times when postage work is not excessive; and whether there is any obstacle to restoring the pre-War practice, under which postcards and some other halfpenny matter were delivered as promptly as other letters and not held in the post for 48 hours or more?

Viscount WOLMER

Halfpenny packets are thrown out during the preliminary process of facing, i.e. before they are date-stamped or sorted. It is frequently necessary to put them on one side in this way, even when the work on hand is not excessive, in order to relieve the forwarding offices through which they subsequently have to pass. The arrangement does not apply to postcards, nor to halfpenny packets posted before about four or five o'clock according to locality. To endeavour to deal at all times with halfpenny matter as promptly as with letters would undoubtedly endanger the punctual dispatch of the letter mails. It must be quite exceptional for any inland halfpenny packet to be in the post as long as 48 hours, excepting at the week-end.