§ 53. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Postmaster-General what were the investigations which he was required to make before he could reply on the 5th February, 1969, to the communication sent to him by the hon. Member for West Ham, North on 27th December, 1968, complaining of postal delays experienced by the Newham Chamber of Commerce; and what prevented these investigations being completed sooner.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT full details of the investigations.
All complaints by hon. Members about postal delays are investigated very fully by my Department; inevitably detailed inquiries take time. I am sure my hon. Friend would prefer full inquiries which take time to inconclusive replies.
Following are the details:
1. A check was made on all mail arriving at the Eastern District Post Office, which is the main distributing centre for East London, 140W to confirm that mail intended for seven subordinate sorting offices at East Ham, Leyton, Leytonstone, Manor Park, Plaistow, Stratford and Victoria Docks, all of which serve the area covered by the Newham Chamber of Commerce, was being sorted and despatched to those offices in sufficient time to enable the letters to be sorted into the postmen's rounds and taken out on the first delivery.
2. A return was taken at the seven sorting offices concerned to determine the percentage of mail being taken out on the first delivery. The results of this return were compared with the postings prior to the introduction of the two-tier service, and during the period between the introduction and the 14th November, 1968 when modifications to the arrangements for delivering second class mail were introduced in London.
3. A check was made on the records of the 214 postmen who deliver mail in the area served by the Newham Chamber of Commerce to see whether any of them was completing his first delivery markedly after the scheduled time, which might have given rise to the complaint which the Chamber of Commerce made on behalf of member firms.
4. A check was made on the sickness records and the staffing position at the seven sorting offices to determine whether the local management had been able to make adequate provision for deliveries to be made when staff were sick or otherwise absent.