asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether in relation to applications for sub-post offices in crowded urban areas the limit of one mile as between such offices is the fixed condition, or if the convenience of the local inhabitants, after the inquiry, is taken into consideration.
The standard interval in urban areas is one mile, but it is applied with due regard to the convenience of the local inhabitants.
Will the hon. Gentleman give consideration to special circumstances affecting Birmingham?
Yes, Sir, if the hon. Member will send on particulars of any case we will look at them.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Question was put on the Paper after a very long correspondence?
Are sub-offices sited without any regard to the population involved?
No, Sir. As I said in my answer, the convenience of the public is always considered. The rule is not rigid; it can be departed from if circumstances warrant it.
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General at which sub-post offices in the Outer Hebrides, at present without money-order facilities, it is in tended to provide this service.
:There is, so far as I am aware, no public demand for the extension of money order facilities to any office in the Outer Hebrides, but if the hon. Member will let me have the name of any particular office he has in mind I will have inquiry made.
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the intentions of His Majesty's Government in respect of conditions and hours of service and staffing in sub-post offices; provision and improvement of premises; and pay and super-annuation of sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses.
:The matters referred to by the hon. Member are being discussed with the Federation of Sub-Postmasters, and no decisions have so far been reached.
Can my hon.Friend give any indication as to Government policy in connection with a very inadequate payment of sub-postmasters and postmistresses? Is any improvement to be expected?
It would not be right for me, while negotiations are going on through the accepted machinery, to make a statement now.
:Would not my hon. Friend agree that the most effective way of improving the present situation lies in the making of these small sub-offices into Crown offices? Would he do that quickly?
It is the general policy of the Department to convert sub-offices into Crown offices.