Saturdays and Bank Holidays (Reduced Services)

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Sir Richard Pilkington Sir Richard Pilkington , Poole 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Postmaster-General what saving he expects to make by reducing the number of deliveries and collections on Saturday, dispensing with deliveries on Easter Monday, Whit Monday and August Bank Holiday, and closing nearly all post offices on Bank Holidays.

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

About £150,000 per annum.

Photo of Sir Richard Pilkington Sir Richard Pilkington , Poole

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these measures very seriously affect those places which are very crowded during the holiday seasons, when postal services are more, and not less, necessary? Will he look into this again?

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

I am afraid not, because the Priestley Royal Commission has made two recommendations; first that the pay, and secondly, that the conditions, should be broadly comparable with those in outside industry. This measure was taken, not only for the saving of pay but also to bring conditions of postmen up to those of outside industry.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

Is the Postmaster-General aware that this innovation will cause people great difficulty in periods of crisis, when they want to send telegrams? Can he indicate how he proposes to deal with that position?

Photo of Mr Ernest Marples Mr Ernest Marples , Wallasey

The Question on the Order Paper relates to the number of collections and deliveries on Saturdays and Bank Holidays, but this particular measure allows most postmen to go off duty on Saturdays two or three hours earlier. That facility exists in outside industry, and I should have thought that, on the whole, the House would have welcomed it.