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Post Office

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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Advisory Council

44.

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state whom he has selected to represent the agricultural interest upon the business Advisory Committee at the Post Office?

I have appointed Lieut.-Colonel Rouse Orlebar, of Hinwick House, near Wellingborough, a member of the Post Office Advisory Council.

Wireless Broadcasting

60.

asked the Postmaster-General on what principle and subject to what conditions licences for wireless broadcasting stations are given to industrial concerns; and whether he will name the concerns, if any, to which licences have been or are to be given?

I am not yet in a position to furnish the information required by the hon. and gallant Member. As he was informed on the 18th instant, a statement will be made on the subject as soon as the conditions are definitely settled. The manufacturers concerned are meeting to-day with a view to formulating proposals for my consideration.

National Federation Of Postal And Telegraph Clerics

61.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the National Federation of Postal and Telegraph Clerks has a London membership of 3,350 sorters and 1,200 telegraphists and counter clerks out of 7,200 sorters and 4,000 telegraphists and counter clerks; that the total membership of the federation in the country is 7,000 out of an estimated 10,000 organised sorting clerks and telegraphists; and that the aims of the federation are strictly constitutional and non-political; and whether, in view of these facts, he will officially recognise this federation?

The local branches of the federation are already officially recognised at those London offices at which they represent as many as one third of the staff employed. Representations have recently been made to me as regards further recognition in London, particularly in connection with the Whitley Committees; and I am considering the matter at the present moment. As regards the provinces, my information is that the federation only represents a negligible proportion of the total provincial Post Office indoor staff; and I do not feel justified in recognising them as entitled to speak on behalf of this staff, which is already represented by a recognised association. It is obviously inconvenient for two associations to represent the same grade of employés.

Town Sub-Office, Eastbourne

62.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that, as the result of the transfer of the head post office at Eastbourne to a less convenient situation, a town sub-office has been created in the centre of the principal shopping thoroughfare, midway between the railway station and the sea, and that this office, which is staffed by a sub-postmistress and four women clerks, who are paid at a rate considerably below the scale received by the established staff at the head office, deals with a volume of work out of all proportion to its character; and whether, having regard to the importance of the office and to the desirability of providing adequate facilities in a central position, he will convert the present town sub-office into a branch office?

Cable Communication, Stornoway

63.

asked the Postmaster-General when the cable communication between Stornoway and the mainland is likely to be restored?

A cable ship is about to start on an expedition which will include the repair of the cable between Stornoway and the mainland. There are several other cables to be repaired en route, but with favourable weather conditions it is anticipated that it will be possible to repair the Stornoway cable within three weeks or a month. Meanwhile a service is being maintained with the Outer Hebrides by means of the wireless stations at Tobermory and Lochboisdale.

Collection And Delivery (Costs)

66.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he can give the average cost of collection and delivery of a parcel, a letter, and a postcard in the United Kingdom?

The present average cost of the collection, handling, conveyance, and delivery of a parcel, a letter, and a postcard, respectively, in the United Kingdom, is at present approximately, a parcel, 1s. 1½d.; a letter, 1⅙d.; a postcard, 1d.

Germany (Reparation Bonds)

45.

asked the Prime Minister whether the three issues of reparation bonds by Germany, which were to have been delivered last year, were in fact delivered, or whether this scheme has fallen through; and, if not, when it is proposed to issue the first series of bonds?

German Government bonds in respect of the three series provided for in the Schedule of Payments were duly delivered by the German Government and are held by the Reparation Commission.

I must have misunderstood the hon. and gallant Member's question. I thought he was referring to the German Government bonds.

Ministry Of Defence

46.

asked the Prime Minister who are the members of the Committee appointed to investigate the practicability of a Ministry of Defence and who is the chairman; and when and where will the meetings be held?

As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his speech on the 1st March, the question raised by the suggestion in the Report of the Geddes Committee for a Ministry of Defence is to come up for consideration by the Committee of Imperial Defence.