HC Deb 06 February 1939 vol 343 cc656-7W
Sir J. Mellor

asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been drawn to recent cases of delay in the arrival of air-mails in Egypt from the United Kingdom; whether he is aware that on some occasions second-class mail by the sea route has reached Alexandria earlier than air-mail posted in London on the same day; and whether he will arrange for first-class postal matter to be dispatched by whichever route offers the quicker delivery?

Sir W. Womersley

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind delays during the Christmas season and I would refer him to the reply given by my hon. and gallant Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air on the 22nd of December to a question by the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes). For the reasons therein explained, and owing to the exceptionally severe weather conditions in this country and in France during the week before Christmas, there were delays in the carriage of first-class mail by air to Egypt and on some occasions the time of transmission unfortunately exceeded that of second-class mail posted at the same time and conveyed by surface route. Normal working on the Empire routes was restored at the beginning of January.

As stated by my hon. and gallant Friend, the matter will be carefully reviewed in the light of the experience gained during the recent Christmas period of pressure.