§ Mr. Mitchison
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he will now issue a duplicate savings book to Miss Rosemary Grierson in place of Savings Book No. 73196, which was lost or stolen on 13th March, 1946, and the loss of which has been repeatedly communicated to the Director of Savings.
§ Mr. Burke
A new bank book was sent to Miss Grierson on 12th July with an apology for the delay. The verification of the transactions in this account, which was necessary before a new book could be issued, took longer than it should have done, and I much regret the inconvenience to which Miss Grierson has been put. I should like to add in extenuation, though not in excuse, for the delay that the Post Office Savings Department is242W working under great difficulties. Not only has the number of savings bank accounts more than doubled since 1939, but in the last year there has been a vast increase in the activity of the accounts. It has been impossible for the Department to obtain staff, either in sufficient numbers or with sufficient experience adequately to meet these developments. In these circumstances there have inevitably been occasions where individual applications have not received the prompt treatment which the Department wishes to give: but I am happy to say that the vast majority of the transactions are carried through with speed and, I hope, satisfaction to the depositors.