HC Deb 06 December 1939 vol 355 cc667-8W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will make inquiries into the delay of 25 days in the delivery of a business letter from Copenhagen to London; and what steps are being taken to prevent this handicap to our export trade?

Major Tryon

The time of transmission of a letter from Copenhagen to London mentioned by the hon. Member is much in excess of the normal; and if he will send me the cover of the letter to which he refers I will gladly have inquiries made.

Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the difficulties which have been put in the way of conducting business between this country and Scandinavia as a result of the delay in mails; what was the average delay during the past month between the posting of a letter in London and its arrival in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, respectively; and whether he can give an assurance that the delays which have occurred in the past shall not occur in the future, except in exceptional circumstances?

Major Tryon

I am aware that under war conditions the mail service to Scandinavia is less regular and speedy than in peace-time. The position has, however, recently been improved by the establishment of an air mail service. According to returns taken last month, it appears that the time of transmission of letters posted in London and sent by surface routes to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo is now varying, according to circumstances, from approximately five to nine days, including delay due to censor- ship and to irregularity in the sea services. Corresponding times of transmission of letters sent by air mail are approximately two and a half to three and a half days. I can assure my hon. Friend that I am taking every possible step to provide as frequent and expeditious a mail service as is practicable under the existing conditions.