Sub-Postmasters (Contracts)

Oral Answers to Questions — Post Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th December 1966.

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Photo of Mr Tom Iremonger Mr Tom Iremonger , Ilford North 12:00 am, 7th December 1966

asked the Postmaster-General what changes he proposes in the standard form of contract with sub-postmasters, with special reference to their liability to assault and robbery.

Photo of Mr Joseph Slater Mr Joseph Slater , Sedgefield

No such changes are envisaged. Our security advisers are in constant consultation with representatives of the sub-postmasters on ways and means of improving safeguards against robbery with violence.

Photo of Mr Tom Iremonger Mr Tom Iremonger , Ilford North

That is all very well, but could the hon. Gentleman say what representations have been made to him by the sub-postmasters and what answer he has given to their National Federation?

Photo of Mr Joseph Slater Mr Joseph Slater , Sedgefield

Representations have been made through the organisation of the sub-postmasters. Whenever there is an opportunity for us to assist them in security—and we have done much in this respect—we take it.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

About a year ago I was promised that new steps would be taken to protect the sub-postmasters, especially in rural areas, who has been subject to these violent attacks. Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with the action which has been taken subsequently?

Photo of Mr Joseph Slater Mr Joseph Slater , Sedgefield

The hon. Gentleman is quite right: he did raise this matter. As a result of the publicity given to what happened at one sub-post office, talks were immediately set in motion at my instruction between our people and the Sub-Postmasters' Federation.