HC Deb 18 July 1938 vol 338 cc1824-5W
Mr. McEntee

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will give guaranteed times of posting for letters despatched by air mail to East Africa at the end of the week in order to ensure their being carried by certain specified air liners, in the same way as guaranteed times for posting letters are given for the beginning of the week?

Major Tryon

The desirability of announcing a posting time for the Friday and Saturday air services to East Africa, in the same way as a posting time is announced for the Wednesday service, is fully appreciated but I regret that I am not yet in a position to make such an announcement.

Colonel Ponsonby

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that letters by air mail to East Africa are taking as long as eight days in some instances to reach Nairobi from London; and whether he can take any steps to improve the air mail service between this country and East Africa?

Major Tryon

The actual time required for the conveyance of a letter by air from London to Nairobi is approximately four days. There are three services weekly which leave Southampton early on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. If a letter is posted too late for the Saturday service it may take as long as eight days to reach its destination owing to the fact that the next following service is on Wednesday. When first-class mail for East Africa was sent by surface transport the time of transmission was approximately three weeks and I am not at present in a position to arrange for a further acceleration of the service.

Mr. Banfield

asked the Postmaster-General whether arrangements will be made for additional air liners to be placed in the East African air-mail service, in order to ensure that, in the event of there being a particularly heavy mail at the end of the week, all letters posted at the end of the week do leave London by the scheduled air mail leaving at the end of the week?

Major Tryon

There are three air services each week to East Africa and, apart from the Christmas period when special arrangements have to be made, experience of the incidence of postings does not point to the need for additional services or the duplication of existing services.