HC Deb 17 December 1964 vol 704 cc148-50W
Dr. Bennett

asked the Postmaster-General why a letter, whose cover has been sent to him, postmarked 1.30 p.m. 13th November, 1964, in Sheffield, and containing an urgent request to telephone on account of a surgical operation, was not delivered to an address in Headingley, Leeds, some 45 miles away, until 8.30 a.m. Monday, 16th November; and why two further letters to the same lady at her home in Chester Crescent, Lee-on-Solent, whose covers have also now been forwarded to him, were respectively postmarked 3.15 p.m. 1st December, 1964, at Doncaster and delivered 8.40 a m. 3rd December, and postmarked 1.15 p.m. 24th November at Doncaster and delivered 8.40 a.m. 26th November.

Mr. Joseph Slater

The letter for Headingley, Leeds, should have been delivered by first post on 14th November and I am sorry that the causes which led to its delay cannot now be established. The two letters from Doncaster to Lee-onSolent were each delayed in the first place owing to late running of the trains on which they travelled to London and, in the second, by pressure of work at the sorting office to which they were sent after they had missed their proper connections in London. I very much regret these delays and any inconvenience and anxiety which they caused.

Mr. George Y. Mackie

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the postal service in Caithness is deteriorating and that in many cases letters now take a day longer to arrive than they did 30 years ago; and whether he will give an assurance that he will not seek to economise at the expense of the service to the people.

Mr. Joseph Slater

I am not aware of any general deterioration in the quality of the postal service in Caithness; but if some letters seem to the hon. Member to have taken longer to arrive than they should I will be glad to look into the matter if he will let me have details. The aim of the Post Office is to provide services which meet the reasonable needs of the public generally while at the same time seeking to preserve a proper balance between cost and service.

Sir D. Kaberry

asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the complaints in recent years, and to date, of the slow delivery service of post between Leeds and London; and if he will cause an inquiry to be made in order to improve the effectiveness of the service.

Mr. Joseph Slater

I understand that a thorough examination of the postal service between Leeds and London made earlier this year did not reveal anything seriously amiss. But my right hon. Friend intends to arrange for a further examination to be made after Christmas and I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as we have the results.

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