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Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1947

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asked the Postmaster-General the numbers of postmen, both permanent and temporary, employed by his Department on 20th October, 1946, 10th January, 1947, and 20th April, 1947, respectively.

The nearest dates for which the information desired by the hon. and gallant Member is available are 1st October, 1946, 1st January, 1947, and 1st April, 1947. The numbers are as follow. Part-time officers have been counted as a half each, and post-women have been included.

1st October, 194682,150
1st January, 194785,178
1st April, 194785,868

Can the Postmaster-General explain why, when there was an increase from October to January, and no decrease from January to April, it has been necessary to make such drastic cuts in the postal collections and deliveries?

I understand that some of these figures are due to certain reorganisation work, in the main.

In view of the fact that these late collection and delivery facilities were reinstituted on 7th January, and there has been a slight increase in the general staff of postmen since then, why did the right hon. Gentleman tell the House last week that the number was reduced because of shortage of staff?

Because we have to make our general contribution on the manpower problem, and we have been asked to do so.

Can my right hon. Friend give a specific assurance that none of the additions to the Post Office staff is to deal with football pool traffic, and a further assurance—

In view of the nature of the reply I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter again.