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Post Office

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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Shop, Leeds (Office)


asked the Postmaster-General if he will reconsider his refusal to allow a post office in the Quarry Hill flats, Leeds, particularly in view of the unique character of these flats and the fact that one of the shopkeepers is willing for his shop to be used as a post office.

Yes, in the exceptional circumstances; a vacancy for a sub-post office is being advertised.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his answer will give considerable satisfaction to the tenants of these flats, particularly to the old age pensioners?

Can the Minister tell us what is meant by "the unique character of these flats"?

It refers to the exceptional circumstances. This is a very large self-contained community, bounded by four main streets. There have been accidents there and I think that, in the circumstances, this facility should be provided.

Letter Rate


asked the Post master-General if he is aware that the present letter rate of 2½d. for two ounces bears heavily on private per sons, business people and all other sections of the community who have occasion to write letters frequently; and whether, in view of the substantial surplus shown by the Post Office every year, he will now restore the penny post for two-ounce letters.

I regret that the loss of revenue involved would be quite prohibitive.

Although this Question was put down before the right hon. Gentleman's recent statement on increases, is it not a fact that the increase from the traditional penny post to 2½d. is one of the largest increases to which the public have been subject, although, admittedly, other Governments have also been responsible? Is it not also clear that the immense increase in the correspondence conducted by Government Departments means that the public are paying an increasing subsidy towards the carriage of official correspondence?

The cost of doing this has been estimated to be about £9 million. That is an amount of revenue which I cannot afford to lose.

Staff Associations


asked the Postmaster-General what progress has been made by the body appointed by him to advise him on the subject of claims for recognition by staff associations in the Post Office; how many meetings have been held; and when he expects its report.

I understand that the Committee is now receiving and considering evidence from the parties concerned. I am unable to say when the Committee will report.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether all the gentlemen referred to in the answer of 15th February have taken part in the proceedings?

I think there is a further Question on the Order Paper on that matter.

With great respect, Mr. Speaker, I asked if they had taken part in the proceedings. There is no Question about that.

If the hon. Gentleman waits until he hears the answer to a further Question on the Order Paper I am sure that he will be quite satisfied.


asked the Postmaster-General what changes have been made in the personnel of the committee appointed to inquire into recognition of Post Office staff associations.

There have been two changes in the Committee: Sir Maurice Holmes (Chairman) and the hon. Baronet the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) have been succeeded by Lord Terrington (Chairman) and Sir John Smith Boyd.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when this change took place and whether the two new members of the Committee have yet taken part in any of the sittings?

The two new members of the Committee have not yet taken part in the sittings. The Committee are endeavouring to arrange a meeting convenient for all members. The change of chairman took place last week and I think it is about three or four weeks ago that the other change took place.

Salaries And Wages


asked the Postmaster-General what is the average rate of increase of the level of salaries and wages in the Post Office above the level existing before the war.

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that on 4th April he gave the figure as 180 per cent. and that although his public relations officer outside sought to correct that figure he has not corrected the figure the right hon. Gentleman gave?

The hon. Gentleman is very ill-informed on the matter. On 9th April there was a Question on the Order Paper and the answer on the 10th made this quite clear.

Can my right hon. Friend say whether that average is inflated by reason of the adjustment of wages following transfer to more valuable work in upper grades?

This represents exactly what it says. It says that there has been an 80 per cent. increase in the rates of wages.

Sub-Office, Cardiff


asked the Postmaster-General when he expects to provide the sub-post office, Caerau, Ely, Cardiff.

As soon as a suitable candidate for the sub-postmastership can be obtained. There is one potential candidate in the field, but as my hon. Friend is aware her appointment is conditional on permission being given by the responsible planning authority for use of the candidate's premises as a sub-post office.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the local planning committee appears to be very awkward on this point? In view of the fact that this is a self-contained community will he not see that some sense of urgency is shown in this matter?