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Mail Deliveries, Far East

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that delays, up to five weeks, are arising in the delivery of mail to His Majesty's ships in Far Eastern waters; and whether he will consult with the Postmaster-General to ensure a more prompt and efficient delivery.

Normally air mail takes from four to six days, and I can only assume that the hon. Member is referring to surface mail which takes between three and a half and eight weeks to get from the United Kingdom to one or other of the three Fleet mail offices on the Far East Station. I should like to remind the families of Service men that lightweight Forces letters can be sent by air for the normal cost of 2½d.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that anything but the very smallest letter sent by Services airmail is absolutely prohibitive in cost to the normal family and that it costs up to 25s. to send two cakes of soap and a packet of writing paper?

There is no limitation at all on the number of lightweight airmail Forces letters that can be sent for the cost of 2½d. each.

As the London mail is very limited, will the hon. Gentleman consider having it flown to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea?

I will certainly look into that. I am not acquainted with the exact route.