§ Mr. McAllister
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to people in East Africa and Zanzibar by the slow delivery of surface mails; that parcels and newspapers sent from the United Kingdom now take two months to reach their destination, the time involved is twice as long as before the war, and these delays cause distress to individuals and trading losses to firms which transact their business by parcel post; if he will 152W arrange for mails from the United Kingdom for East Africa and Zanzibar to be put on ships calling at Marseilles; and what other steps he proposes to take to secure an improvement in this position.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
I am aware of some dissatisfaction regarding surface mails for East Africa and Zanzibar and that the service is not as good as could be wished. Recent transmission times have been varied between 22 and 46 days for East Africa and between 29 and 48 for Zanzibar.
The Post Office makes the best possible use of sailings from this country, and has already under discussion with the French and Italian authorities the possibility of embarking letter mails at Marseilles or Italian ports when this offers advantage. Consideration has also been given to transhipping mails at Aden, but at present this offers little scope for improving the service. If my hon. Friend will let me have details of any cases in which excessive delay has occurred full investigation will be made.