HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 cc1362-3W
Colonel A. Evans

asked the Postmaster-General, whether, in view of the anxiety of men serving in the Middle East to receive news from their families, he will consider, so long as postal communications remain so slow, both the desirability and the possibility of allowing all cables to such men in the Middle East to go at inland rates instead of under the present system of limited cables at cheap rates under special terms?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

Telegrams may be sent without restriction as to number to members of His Majesty's Army and the Royal Air Force serving in the British Empire and in places under British mandate at a special rate of 2s. 6d. for five words with entirely free address. The charge is thus substantially lower than the cheapest normal rate. The Departments concerned are, however, fully alive to the special need for providing an exceptionally cheap service to members of His Majesty's Forces serving in places with which postal communications are seriously delayed and, in these cases, the nominated next of kin may send a maximum of two telegrams a month on urgent private matters at the inland rate of charge. It is regretted that for technical reasons it is at present impracticable to extend the scope for these facilities, but the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry have made arrangements for members of His Majesty's Forces serving abroad to be specially notified by telegraph, at the public expense, in the event of a near relative becoming a casualty as a result of air raids in this country.