§ 8. Mr. Spriggs
asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement about the traffic dealt with by the Post Office during the Christmas period 1958; and how the figures vary, so far as St. Helens is concerned, in each department for the years 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958.
§ Mr. K. Thompson
As the full answer contains rather a lot of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The broad picture is that letters and cards and telephone trunk calls were up this year and telegrams were down, both throughout the United Kingdom and St. Helens.
§ Mr. Spriggs
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we appreciate the facilities which he gave for hon. Members of this House to visit their constituency post offices during the Christmas period? I should like, through the hon. Gentleman, to thank the postmaster at St. Helens and his staff for the good work which they have done for the people of St. Helens.
§ Mr. Thompson
I am grateful to the hon. Member for the expressions contained in his supplementary question.
Following are the figures:It is estimated that 866 million letters and cards were posted in the United Kingdom during the busy period from 13th December to 2nd January as compared with 822 million the year before. The numbers posted at St. Helens for the Christmas periods 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958 were 1.56 million, 1.64 million, 1.61 million and 1.63 million, respectively.175No reliable estimates can be given for parcels, but the figure for the country as a whole for Christmas 1958 is probably about 28½ million.The estimated numbers of inland telegrams handled in the same periods were 857 thousand in 1958, and 906 thousand the previous year. The numbers accepted at St. Helens in 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958 in the busy Christmas period were 1,445, 1,204, 913 and 805, respectively.The estimated numbers of inland trunk calls made in the same periods were 21 million in 1958 and 19 million the previous year. The numbers made at St. Helens in 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958 were 19.1, 27.4, 28.1 and 30.3 thousands, respectively. The increase of the 1956 figure over that for 1955 was in part due to a change in the arrangements for handling trunk calls in St. Helens exchange.