Orders of the Day — Post Office

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1947.

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Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth 12:00 am, 2nd July 1947

I shall be dealing with quite a number of things which the hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Grimston) referred to, later in my speech, when I propose to give a general survey of some of the main items. The hon. Member raised one or two points with which I would like to deal now. Anything which I miss in this statement will be dealt with by the Assistant Postmaster-General. Some of the matters raised by the hon. Gentleman are questions of detail, and we will have to get the information in order to reply to them. In regard to the postmen, there seems to be a difference of opinion, although I do not think it is a contradiction, and I will try to explain it. It is a fact that in 1946 there were 82,150 postmen, and in 1947, 85,868. We did make an attempt to put into operation new services, and actually put them into operation, and our staff was increased because of that fact. Then came the fuel crisis and various other matters, includ- ing the need for men in productive industry. We decided to cut the services and to reduce the number of men accordingly. Immediately we made the decision to cut the services and to provide men for industry, we began to reduce the number, and the reduction will appear in next year's figures. The reduction is going on now, as hon. Members will have appreciated from answers to Questions they have put to the Department.