Sir C. Osborne
asked the Postmaster-General if he will seek powers to enforce the use of standard size and shape envelopes, so as to mechanise still further their sorting; in view of the fact that letter deliveries are now slower than at any time since 1840, if he will now take action to give a quicker service; and if he will make a statement.
As I said in reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Huddersfield, West, on 30th June, 1965, from 1st July, 1968, non-standard envelopes, when used for items not more than 2 oz. in weight, will become liable to a charge appropriate to the next weight step. Standard envelopes will facilitate the mechanical handling of mail.As regards the second part of the Question, I have no information about the quality of postal service over a century ago, but I can say that it is slightly better now than it was in September last year. We are not of course content with this and are doing all we can to improve the standard still further. One of the problems is staff shortage, and I am glad to say that our drive for more staff is meeting with some success.