HC Deb 26 July 1944 vol 402 cc772-3W
Wing-Commander Errington

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that mail both to and from Merchant Navy personnel engaged in the Normandy operation has been delayed up to 26 days; that this is a longer period than taken for Army mail; and whether he is prepared to take immediate steps to ensure a more expeditious despatch and receipt of mail for merchant ships engaged on this operation.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Every practicable measure has been taken to ensure that mail for the officers and men of the Merchant Navy who are sailing to the French coast shall reach them without avoidable delay. As a rule, they find it waiting for them whenever their ships arrive back in a United Kingdom port. My hon. and gallant Friend will understand, however, that some ships must be diverted to different ports while they are at sea; in such cases, delay in the delivery of mails may be impossible to avoid. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of the case of extreme delay to which he draws attention, I will cause inquiries to be made. I know of no reason why mail from merchant seamen to this country should be delayed; if my hon. Friend will give me details of actual cases, I will ask the responsible authorities to inquire.