§ Mr. Viant
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the General Post Office in Maidstone is closed at 6.30 p.m. each day and sub-offices at 6 p.m., and will he state the number of towns in which these are the closing hours for the aforementioned offices; and, in view of the inconvenience alleged by large numbers of people, will he review the policy and endeavour to meet the local requirements?
§ Captain Waterhouse
I am aware that the closing hours of business at Post Offices in Maidstone are as stated by the hon. Member, since the Earlier Closing of Shops Defence Regulation came into force. These times are the normal closing hours for Post Offices in town areas throughout the country, except where a local authority has exercised its power of fixing the general closing time of shops later than 6 p.m. In such cases Post Offices in the area concerned are kept open until the general closing hour, provided this is not later than 7 p.m. The existing practice is in harmony with the closing hours for shops, and so far as I am aware, satisfactorily meet local requirements in most districts.