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Telegrams And Mails, India (Delay)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 22 April 1943

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asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the long delay in the delivery of cables, airgraphs and letters to British Forces serving in India; that recently a cable took a month to be sent from the United Kingdom to Simla, letters average about four months and airgraph letters a month; and whether he has any statement to make on the subject?

I am aware that during the Christmas and New Year period many telegrams for the Forces in India suffered appreciable delay owing to congestion of seasonal traffic, but I understand the telegrams are now reaching the base reasonably quickly. The locating of the addressee by the Military Authorities, and the redirection of the telegrams over the internal telegraph system or by surface transport may, however, in some instances take several days, but I can assure the hon. Member that the authorities concerned in India are doing their utmost to expedite delivery. As regards the conditions of transmission of letters and airgraphs to India I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer, of which I am sending him a copy, given by my right hon. Friend's predecessor to the hon. and gallant Member for Taunton (Lieut.-Colonel. Wickham) on 15th December last. I am glad to say, however, that since then increased aircraft capacity has become available, with the result that the Post Office have been able to speed up the airgraph service. We also introduced, on 6th December, the 6d. Air Letter to the Forces in India, which receives air transmission throughout.